When somebody mentions fried chicken, it's hard not to think of that local institution Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. The chicken is rolled in flour spiked with "secret seasoning" and fried until it's perfectly crisp outside but never too greasy. You can have a variety of side dishes along with your chicken, but waffles are king. The most popular plate, No. 9, is three meaty wings and a puffy golden waffle. (Plate No. 9, $6.50.)
Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles, 5006 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 934-4405; other locations in Hollywood, Pasadena, Long Beach and Los Angeles.
At Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch, chef Harvey Johnson dredges chicken in seasoned flour with a touch of garlic and fries it in shortening until it's good and crunchy. The chicken comes with a choice of sides: collard greens, corn bread dressing, rice and beans, macaroni and cheese and irresistible candied yams, just to name a few. (Fried chicken, two pieces $7.95, three pieces $12.95.)
Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch, Villa Marina Marketplace, 4325 Glencoe Ave., Marina del Rey, (310) 578-1005.
Crisp and airy
Fried chicken is the most popular lunch item at Memphis. It's lightly dipped into seasoned flour and emerges from the deep fryer with an airy crispness, rather than the thick, dense crunch of some fried chicken. With it you get sauteed mustard greens spiked with Worcestershire and Tabasco and a couple of silver dollar-sized mashed potato cakes in country gravy. (Fried chicken, $10.25.)
Memphis, 201 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 564-1064.