Pieces of Chicken, Ranked


In the midst of the ongoing hullabaloo about Popeyes’ new chicken sandwich, we decided to settle a separate chicken-related argument that has raged for years.

What is the best piece of chicken?

We know the answer is subjective, so we decided to assemble a team of experts in the field of chickenology to end this debate once and for all. After we found out that many, if not most, of America’s finest culinary academies and institutions of higher learning do not offer advanced degrees in the poultry sciences, The Root’s senior writer, Michael Harriot, who has literally been begging to write this article since his first day of employment, said: “Fuck it. I’ll do it myself.”

It is important to know that these rankings are based solely on fried chicken—specifically, chicken fried in hot grease. Baked chicken does not count because sprinkling Mrs. Dash on a piece of barnyard pimp and throwing it in the oven is not really a recipe. And the ancestors have spoken and informed me that air fryers are the products of satanic black magic and, therefore, cannot produce real fried chicken.

Here are the definitive rankings.