That’s easy! Chicken lang ‘yan, as Filipinos would say. Our love for chicken dishes runs so deep that it has made its way into the Filipino vocabulary.
While the famous chicken adobo is without a doubt the ultimate Filipino chicken dish, we also occasionally, if not everyday, enjoy the classic fried chicken. It’s juicy, flavorful and easy to munch on – what’s not to love? Give it some Filipino flair and you’ve got a feast for the tastebuds!
Where can you get a piece or a bucket of the best Filipino-style fried chicken you ask? Chicken lang ‘yan! Read on.
A list of Filipino-style fried chicken restaurants without Jollibee is null and void. The famous Chickenjoy is loved by Filipinos young and old the world over! And there’s no question about that. It has a crispy coating that gives you a satisfying crunch with every bite. But the biggest surprise, as often described by first time Jollibee eaters, is the juicy and flavorful meat inside. This is paired with the signature Jollibee gravy that’s buttery, tasty, and magically just goes so well with the Chickenjoy. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try the Spicy Chickenjoy. It is sprinkled with a mix of powdered chilis that will either leave you wanting for more!
While the Chickenjoy is usually served with rice, you can switch it up and have it with a serving of Jollibee’s Filipino-style sweet Spaghetti or Palabok, a saucy noodle dish served with shrimp and pork bits on top.
With over 1000 stores in the Philippines alone, you can have the Chickenjoy practically wherever your cravings for this deep fried goodness hits you.
Max’s have kept true to its tagline – ‘the house that fried chicken built’ – as people continue to frequent their restaurants for a taste of their famous menu item. Max’s Style fried chicken is a little different in that it is cooked without breading or batter. It takes cues from Pinaupong Manok (seated chicken), a chicken dish cooked using traditional methods and is seasoned with calamansi, salt and pepper. While fried chicken flavor mostly comes from the coating, you’ll be surprised at how tasty Max’s fried chicken is. The secret is in the three-step process – don’t quote us on this. It is brined with different spices and traditional Filipino seasonings, then steamed and twice fried. The result? A golden fried chicken with crispy skin and succulent meat.
This tag-teams with Max’s Pancit Canton or plain rice and is served with Kamote Fries. To amplify the flavor, it is dipped in Max’s banana ketchup or worcestershire sauce.
On the topic of fried chicken favorites, you can’t leave out Chowking. While this local restaurant mainly serves Chinese dishes such as dim sum, noodles and more, it is also well known for its fried chicken.
Chowking’s Chinese-Style Fried Chicken is a fusion of flavors – much like how Filipino cuisine is. It has a light batter that’s really savory and a juicy meat inside that has an oriental taste to it. Bite into its crunchy exterior and enjoy a wave of flavors as the juice drips and hits your tastebuds. And in true Filipino fashion, it comes with a side of yummy gravy or fried shrimp chips, Chicharap. This is often enjoyed with plain or Yang Chow rice; and Pancit Canton, if you want an extra oomph to your meal.
Classic Savory’s fried chicken has a deep golden skin that glistens in the light and this is not an exaggeration. It’s cut up in pieces and oozes with juice that would make anyone want to take a piece. Their version of the fried chicken is batter-less but full of flavor, thanks to a signature marinade of varied condiments. It is also served with rice but many recommend having it with the restaurant’s Pancit Canton.
Sincerity’s fried chicken is sincerely good. Often bought in boxes and ordered in advance for occasions, you’ll get why it is loved by many. It has a distinctive buttery flavor and hints of sweet and savory that would make you go for another piece… and then another, and then ANOTHER. It is usually served as finger food but you can also enjoy it with the restaurant’s Yang Chow Rice or pancit as a complete meal.
Go to your nearest 7-Eleven branch at lunch time and you’ll be greeted with a queue of hungry students and office workers. What are they lining up for? More often than not, it’s 7-Eleven’s Crunch Time fried chicken. As you can tell by its name, this fried chicken has an irresistible crunch thanks to its flavor-rich coating. Its juicy meat goes well with gravy, although you can also enjoy it on its own. What’s more, it is affordable – ₱70 for a piece with rice!
Kariton Fried Chicken
Some of the best things in life can be found on the streets… such as your favorite fried chicken. Walk around your local neighborhood and you’ll be drawn in by the scent of deep-fried chicken wafting through the air. Surprise! It’s a makeshift kiosk on wheels that serves cheap but unarguably tasty fried chicken! A K.F.C., kariton fried chicken or chicken cart, often moves from one place to another, depending on foot traffic. You can find them parked by office buildings and schools with people casually standing on the side eating fried chicken.
These local vendors often serve flavor-rich fried chicken as a whole, in different cuts or fried chicken skin that’s just perfect for munching on. No fried chicken tastes the same, though. So if you find the kariton chicken that suits your taste, you better not let it out of your sight.
After all is said and done, you really cannot put the Filipino fried chicken in a box – unless this box is for takeout. It continues to evolve along with our preferences to keep the chicken-crazed excited. One thing we’re sure of is it will never go out of style. Ready to feast on your favorite Filipino-style fried chicken?
By Mia Carisse Barrientos | Senior Content Creator