Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fried Chicken Worth the Road Trip

Getting finger lickin’ good fried chicken has gotten much easier in New York as so many worthy competitors have popped up. Case in point: the excellent fried chicken plate ($11) at Pies ‘n’ Thighs in Williamsburg. I prayed on my first recent visit that it deserved all the praise it had been getting since opening this spring. Yup, it sure did. Homespun hospitality and a plate piled high with three juicy, perfectly crisp pieces of bird, the flakiest biscuit, and a rockin’ black eyed peas salad, left me completely satisfied.

 Commander Cody's, Shelter Island
But what happens when you go away for the weekend and the craving hits? If you’re headed to Shelter Island or North Fork, thankfully you’re covered. Shelter Island, the swanky, anti-Hamptons, is known for a handful of decent, overpriced eateries including Planet Bliss, Vine Street CafĂ©, and the notorious Sunset Beach. But wander off the beaten path and discover one hell of a dining experience at Commander Cody’s, where you’ll feast on some of the best fried chicken EVER. Chef Jimmy and his daughter Amanda lovingly prepare their famous chicken (expect to wait 20 minutes because it’s fried fresh to order), as well as their fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs. They also serve a wide array of seafood, but we came for the chicken!

Get in my belly at Commander Cody's
The enormous skillet fried chicken platter ($14) comes with 4 generous pieces (1/2 chicken) - hot, perfectly seasoned, juicy and crispy - seasoned waffle fries, corn bread and creamy cole slaw. Sit on one of the outdoor picnic benches, groove to classic blues playing in the background, and count down the minutes til your plate arrives. Go hungry. Save room for homemade dessert.

If you don’t make the ferry to Shelter Island, and find yourself by Greenport, you’re also in luck. Salamander’s General Store, a quirky gourmet market on First Street, also serves fried chicken worth a detour. Wander the tiny shop packed with international goods, as you wait for your order to be fried up. Cole slaw and corn bread accompany the $8 plate, but the star is definitely the chicken.

Note: I am always in search of great fried chicken, near and far, so tips are always welcome.


  1. Some other chicken places on my list, near and far:
    -Blue Ribbon Grill... I've been, but never had the chicken
    -Hattie's in Saratoga Springs
    -Perry St (the fried chicken is also part of their summer promotion dinner)

    Definitely adding Commander Cody's to the list.

  2. This is such a fantastic blog! It's hitting all of my vices: sweet, salty, savory, sinister goodness!