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Post Chicken and Beer. Photos by Aaron Colussi

Denver’s Best Fried Chicken

Fried chicken may appear on many a Denver menu these days, but not all versions are created equal—or alike. We found three styles that are perfect, all in their own ways.

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Editor’s Note: This is a living list of Denver’s best fried chicken, last updated on September 24, 2019. The classic Southern fried chicken at Soul Kitchen (now closed) and Thai-style fried chicken tacos at Cho77 (no longer offered) were featured in the story originally published in July 2017. Did we miss your favorite? Email us at digital@5280.com

HOT CHICKEN
At the Post Chicken and Beer, chef Brett Smith pays homage to Nashville-style hot chicken by slathering fried bone-in pieces with a mix of house-made poblano-jalapeño hot sauce, pork and chicken fats, and cider vinegar. The result is a tangy, spicy coating that delivers an oh-so-pleasant tingle. Smith’s inspiration came from Nashville’s OG Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, where the dish was created in the mid-1930s. Bonus: Since the coating is made with tapioca and rice flours and potato starch, the Post’s iteration is also gluten free.  Multiple locations.

JAPANESE 
“Karaage” refers to the Japanese technique of deep-frying lightly battered, ginger- and garlic-marinated meat; boneless chicken is a popular variation. Cole’s Corner Ramen owners Shi Bing and Anne Ke offer a heaping plate of the crunchy, bite-size nuggets for just $8. Each morsel will surprise you with its lightness, which allows the delicate aromatics in the marinade to shine through. Squeeze a fresh lemon wedge over the top, then dip the chicken into the accompanying ramekin of spiced mayonnaise. 1629 Bruce Randolph Ave., 303-292-0250

Korean-Chicken
Funny Plus. Photos by Aaron Colussi

KOREAN 
The key to ultra-crisp Korean fried chicken is a second dip into the fryer, which makes the skin crackle when you take a bite. Often, sauces are served on the side or painted on with a light touch so the skin doesn’t get soggy. Look no further for this style than Aurora’s lively bar-restaurant Funny Plus. We suggest going with friends and ordering your chicken— it’ll feed a crowd—with the sweet and spicy chile sauce on the side. Then sit back, munch, and relish the festive beer-hall vibe. 2779 S. Parker Road, Aurora, 303-745-3477


One-Off Wonders

Two fabulous fried chicken specials.

Work & Class
Sunday nights

About four-and-a-half years ago, chef-owner Dana Rodriguez created a stellar chickpea-flour-coated, gluten-free fried chicken special to bring in more business during football games. It’s not easy to tear Broncos fans from their TVs, but her plan worked: Diners line up for the $10 trio of pieces, which usually sell out by 7 p.m. 2500 Larimer St., 303-292-0700

Avery Brewing Co.
Monday nights

The process for Avery’s fried birds starts on Thursday night, when chef Chris Blackwood brines the meat. On Sunday morning, he soaks the chicken in buttermilk. Finally, once you’ve got a barrel-aged Ginger Sour ale in hand and placed your order, he dredges the pieces in flour laced with Creole mustard spices and fries them up. It’s a brew-bird combo that makes Monday nights feel like the weekend. 4910 Nautilus Court North, Boulder, 303-440-4324

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