Fried and Seek: We found the best fried chicken in NYC

There's more than one way to fry a chicken. As long as it results in hot, juicy meat and a crisp golden shell, we heartily approve. From sweet tea-brines to red curry, traditional cast-iron pans to pressure fryers, NYC's fried chickens are as diverse and well-traveled as the folks eating them. We crunched our way through some classics and newbies all around the city to come up with this list, in no particular order, of our 12 favorites.

⑧ Root & Bone, East Village
We appreciate an over-the-top, inch-thick crust as much as the next guy, but here is that rare, delicate fried chicken where crisp skin and steamy meat are in perfect harmony ($16 for a half; $32 for a whole). The birds here are brined in sweet tea (but that sweetness doesn't push through in the finish). And the flour dredge is dosed with cayenne, but not too much. A pucker-making dehydrated lemon salt cuts the grease, and a nontraditional addition of fresh chopped dill on top adds a little kiss of freshness.

Pat Nunnari