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The South's 7 best fried chicken dishes

Photo Credit: Project Manhattan

Fried chicken

The South's 7 best fried chicken dishes

If many people were asked to name one dish that epitomizes Southern cuisine, there is a high likelihood a majority would answer fried chicken. Popular throughout all regions of the South, fried chicken carries a universal appeal, which is why it is frequently found on dinner tables, breakfast bars, and paper picnic plates from state to Southern state. Because there are so many regional options for one of America's most universally loved dishes, we asked Chef Jeffrey Gardner to pick seven restaurants serving the best fried chicken in the South. Here are his recommendations.


The Old Country Store - Lorman, Miss.
Old Country Store owner Arthur Davis (aka Mr. D.) won’t share the recipe for his secret spice “shake” with anyone, and for good reason. Whatever's in there, an application before and after the frying process ensures that salt and spices permeate the chicken with incredible flavor. From what I could gather, the chicken gets a substantial coating of spices and yellow mustard before being dredged in flour. The result is hands-down the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. While their buffet offers plenty of delicious options, the fried chicken is the unequivocal star, prompting diners to drive from hours away to sample the goods.

CLICK HERE: find out who makes our next favorite fried chicken dish


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Chef Jeffrey Gardner is a native of Natchez, Miss., and a graduate of Millsaps College and Johnson & Wales University. He lives in Atlanta and has served as sous chef for popular restaurants South City Kitchen Midtown and Alma Cocina. In 2013 he became executive chef for East Cobb restaurant Common Quarter and was named one of ten “Next Generation of Chefs to Watch” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He has appeared on TV shows including Food Network’s Chopped and Cooking Channel’s How to Live to 100, and also filmed a series of healthy cooking videos with retired pro wrestler and fitness guru Diamond Dallas Page. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife Wendy, watching game shows and “spending all his money on Bruce Springsteen concerts.”

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