Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken: Soul Survivor

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Many a Harlemite boasts a Southern connection, creating a ready audience for the mastery of North Carolina’s own Charles Gabriel. For a golden bird unlike any other in NYC, plan a friends’ outing to Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken. This is not a night to wear your skinny rock-star jeans. In fact, a drawstring may be your best friend here. The restaurant lays out an all-you-can-eat buffet, and you will want to eat it all. There aren’t many seats, so limit yourself to the real soul food aficionados in your crowd. As you settle in, a red neon glow adds authenticity as it gets stomachs growling. Order some sweet tea and put yourself in a Southern mood. The buffet table beckons with yams, stewed collards, and creamy mac ‘n’ cheese, but you’re here for the chicken. As the name suggest, Chef Gabriel gives the conventional fryer a pass in favor of a massive cast-iron skillet which he tends for hours, seasoning the meat through a dry rub, an egg wash, and a final flour dredge. Let your mouth water a moment before you tear in. The golden crust gives way to juicy, juicy insides, the meat bursting with flavor and character. Now it’s time to test your discipline, to see if you can hold back from another drumstick and preserve room for his famous banana pudding for dessert.

Related: Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Favorite Places in Harlem

Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken

2841 Frederick Douglass Blvd New York NY 10019

(212) 281-1800

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