North Carolina chef Ashley Christensen is a traditionalist when it comes to fried chicken. At Beasley’s Chicken + Honey in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she brines her bird parts overnight with salt and sugar to make sure they’re good and moist. Next day, the pieces are dipped in buttermilk, drained, shaken, and pelted with flour in a paper bag for about 30 seconds, shaken again, and then dropped into a bubbling-hot cast-iron skillet. The results are so deliciously crunchy, the chicken skin shatters when it hits your teeth. Christensen’s empire is one worth exploring in depth—folks ’round these parts are also crazy about her classic Fox Liquor Bar cocktails and the upscale down-home cuisine at Poole’s Downtown Diner.
237 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC; 919-322-0127.