This list is, of course, completely subjective, and maybe even somewhat capricious. That said, it does attempt to survey the full spectrum of great chicken styles I have so far experienced, at their very best. —J.O.
1. Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta: A mind-bending chicken cooked in a cocktail of savory animal fats.
2. JCT. Kitchen & Bar, Atlanta: Stripped-down, urbane, brilliant.
Iain Bagwell for The Wall Street
JCT. Kitchen & Bar in Atlanta
3. Prince's Hot Chicken Shack, Nashville: The once and future Hot Chicken. Bring a first-aid kit.
4. Charles' Country Pan-Fried Chicken, New York: May be the best chicken north of the Mason-Dixon.
5. A-Frame, Los Angeles: Not quite Southern, not quite Korean, wholly Roy Choi.
6. Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles, Los Angeles: So good, a man was lured to his death with the promise of it in "Jackie Brown."
7. Willie Mae's Scotch House, New Orleans: Jaw-dropping crispness and lightness at a NOLA landmark.
8. MilkWood, Louisville, Ky.: Spicy adobo chicken and waffles give Roscoe's a run for their money.
9. Ad Hoc, Yountville, Calif.: Considered by many the country's greatest chicken, care of chef Thomas Keller.
10. The Country Cat, Portland, Ore.: Boneless chicken thighs pan-fried in beef tallow. Go immediately.
11. Husk, Charleston, S.C.: You have to order it 48 hours ahead, and it's worth it. Best I ever had.
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