Fried chicken holds a special place in the hearts of the American people. In the Southern states, fried chicken is treated with near-religious reverence. Legendary restaurants like Willie Mae’s in New Orleans and Martha Lou’s Kitchen in Charleston are considered national culinary treasures, up there with Michelin-starred restaurants. But America hardly has a monopoly on crispy, crunchy, juicy, spicy fried chicken. From Central America to Japan, fried chicken is a staple protein, and each country puts its own spin on this home-style classic.
Fried chicken is a canvas for the signature ingredients of the country in question. In America, it’s often served with mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, but in Vietnam, fried chicken wings are coated in fish sauce. Meanwhile, in Mexico, fried chicken sandwiches are topped with Oaxacan cheese and chipotle peppers.
Here are 11 fried chicken dishes from Japan to Israel for every fan of the world’s favorite juicy, crunchy, crispy comfort food.