The Fried Chicken

Cecile Steele of Ocean View ignited an industry in 1923, when she received 500 chicks instead of the 50 that she’d ordered as laying hens. Steele raised them as broiler chickens and quickly found a market. Today, chicken is as important to Delawareans’ appetite as is it is to the state’s economy, and fried is often the way to go.

1. In Wilmington, Walt’s Flavor Crisp Chicken Express (Little Italy, 429-2587) upholds the legacy of the original Walt’s Flavor Crisp on Vendever Avenue.

2. Rumor has it that a similar recipe is the reason for the lines at Johnnie’s Dog House & Chicken Shack in Brandywine Hundred (North Wilmington, 477-1440). 

3. Like the original restaurant in Bridgeville, all the Jimmy’s Grille locations (Bridgeville, 337-7575; Dewey Beach, 260-9914; Rehoboth Beach, 227-4888) are known for fried chicken. The slogan is “Peace, Love and Chicken.” 

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4. Kick n’ Chicken (Lewes, 644-4151; Long Neck, 947-1110) nixes frozen chicken for fresh, which gets a bath in a seasoned batter.  

5. Lettie’s Kitchen (Hockessin, 239-7816) is famous for broasted chicken, which incorporates pressure cooking to produce moist meat. The coating is wonderfully crisp.

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