Reinvent Chicken Dinner: 11 Local Recipes From Across the Country

September 25, 2015

From New York’s tender and slightly tangy Cornell chicken to smoky wings from Asheville North Carolina’s 12 Bones Smokehouse, these local recipes from cities and towns across the country will take your chicken to the next level.

cornell chicken recipe
Photo by Robyn Wishna

Cornell Chicken  Ithaca, NY
Cornell Chicken BBQs are a time-honored tradition in Central New York. Savory smoke wafts from roadside grill pits, where members of local volunteer fire departments, church groups and schools spend hours flipping hundreds of chicken halves, which are coated in a mixture of vinegar, oil, egg, poultry seasoning and salt—a recipe created by Cornell poultry science professor Bob Baker in the 1940s. Unlike other, tomato-based BBQ sauces, Baker’s egg-based coating makes for a creamier sauce that sticks to the chicken better; it gives the meat a nice brown color and doesn’t burn easily. The resulting chicken is deliciously tender, with a slightly tangy flavor and warm brown crust.


Tyler Florence chicken recipe
Photo by John Lee

Wayfare Tavern Fried Chicken  San Francisco, CA
Chef Tyler Florence hails from the South, where frying chicken has been elevated to an art form, and feuds over who makes the best fried chicken have been known to break up families.

But Florence left the South many moons ago, cooking in New York City before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area where he owns two restaurants, Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco, and El Paseo in Mill Valley.  Along the way Florence has evolved his signature fried chicken recipe, using modern techniques like covering the bird in fresh herbs and roasting it low and slow before soaking it in buttermilk and then frying it in grapeseed oil.  A squeeze of fresh lemon and sprinkle of more herbs before serving give this chicken its show stopping Northern California flavor. 


smoky chicken wings
Photo by Voyageur Press, 2015

Smoky Chicken Wings – Asheville, NC
12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville, North Carolina isn't exactly a wing place, but people still love the restaurant's take on wings. The secret is the cooking process, a multistep method. The wings are first smoked, cooled off, and then fried, so they get nice and crispy on the outside. Even after all that frying, they’re permeated with a deep smokehouse flavor. That multistep process also means that these wings are great for tailgating, since you can smoke them ahead of time and fry them when it’s time to serve. 


spicy pepper chicken
Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Spicy Pepper Chicken – Nashville, TN
Nashville is famous for its “Hot Chicken.” Soul Food Love authors Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams like to get theirs from Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. It’s crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and it comes decorated with a thin round of bright green pickles.  The chicken packs its heat from a mixture made with cayenne, olive oil, garlic plus a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Plus: Check out this citrus-inspired Nashville take on Sunday Roast Chicken.


BBQ chicken pizza recipe
Photo by Charlotte Abrams

Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Squash & Zucchini – Sarasota, FL
The genius that is barbecue chicken pizza can be credited to Ed LaDou and his California Pizza Kitchen. Nearly 20 years since it’s trend-setting creation, it’s still wildly popular. In this recipe, the flavorful pizza combination gets a Florida seasonal spin with fresh yellow squash and zucchini. 
Photo by Charlotte Abrams 


beer can chicken with white barbecue sauce
Photo by Judy Allen

Beer Can Chicken with White Barbecue Sauce  Tulsa, OK
Autumn is the time of year in Oklahoma when grills see far more face time than kitchens. Tailgating season is in full swing and July and August are way too hot to stand over an open charcoal fire. Enter beer can chicken, the best recipe to yield juicy grilled chicken for two reasons. First, the beer can elevates the chicken just off of the coals, which allows the skin to brown without charring. Second, the beer steams up into the cavity, providing added moisture to the bird. And you get to drink half the beer before setting it onto the grill. Ok, that’s three reasons. 


herbs de provence roast chicken
Photo by Tricia Wheeler

One Tray Herbs de Provence Roast Chicken and Vegetables – Columbus, OH
Inspired by the roasted chicken made in the outdoor markets of France, Edible Columbus editor and publisher Tricia Wheeler developed a simplified version in her Ohio Kitchen. In the French markets, a chicken’s juices drip down onto a bed of potatoes at the bottom as it roasts on a spit. Shoppers receive a big scoop of those potatoes when they buy their chicken. The best part of Wheeler’s take on this recipe is that it is cooked in one tray, which can be brought to the table for everyone to take a scoop plus cleanup is easy.


coconut key lime chicken salad
Photo by Alfredo Añez

Coconut Key Lime Chicken Salad South Florida 
Tart yellow Florida key limes aren't just for key lime pies. These juicy, tiny limes grow on backyard trees of many South Floridians and find their way into ceviches and seafood dishes, salsas and tropical cocktails. The coconut-key lime mixture in this recipe serves as both marinade for the chicken and dressing for the salad.


Fried Chicken Sandwich
Photo by Brent Harrewyn

Fried Chicken Sandwich – Albany NY
Fried chicken on a buttery potato bun is a customer favorite from the menu at Angelo's 677 Prime, a steak house in downtown Albany's theater district. Executive Chef Ken Kehn combines sour and salty flavors of pickle brine with creamy and fatty aioli to make this sandwich a standout.



Chicken Piccata with Arugula and Roasted Garlic Pasta
Photo by Michael Fornataro / Styling by Samantha Casale

Chicken Piccata with Arugula and Roasted Garlic Pasta – Pittsburgh, PA
Arugula, lemon, and roasted garlic unite as the perfectly paired stars of Sonoma Chef de Cuisine Neal Heidekat's Chicken Piccata dish. Hailing from Pittsburgh, this unique spin on a classic favorite is creative, comforting, and served best in the fall months.



Eggplant Pain Perdu, Molasses Glazed Strawberries and Chicken Skin
Photo by Jon Brooks

Eggplant Pain Perdu, Molasses Glazed Strawberries and Chicken  Indianapolis, IN
Inspired by the versatility of strawberries in both sweet and savory dishes, 2015 Food and Wine Best New Chef (and Indiana’s hottest chef), Jonathan Brooks of Milktooth in Indianapolis created this dish for Edible Indy magazine. Its Midwest rustic taste flavor will remind you of traditional Sunday dinner with a (trendy) twist.