Why Fried Chicken Might Taste Different From The Deli

There are certain foods we leave to the professionals instead of making at home, and fried chicken definitely falls into this category for many people. Even when seasoned chefs attempt to make it on competition shows like "Top Chef," viewers and the judges on the show are on pins and needles, waiting for disaster to strike. While the chef is making the fried chicken, they list the dozens of things that could go wrong, and in order to achieve crispy, golden brown perfection, all the stars have to align. If these confident chefs are wary of it, then that leaves home cooks especially intimidated by a seemingly simple dish.

Additionally, the thought of heating up a giant vat of oil in your house is pretty scary. In order to avoid all of these pitfalls and potential calls to the fire department, we head to the drive-thru or to the grocery store deli instead. Although fast food joints are usually the first thought when a fried chicken craving hits, there are some solid options at grocery stores like Publix, which was included in a takeout fried chicken roundup from Southern Living. When comparing deli fried chicken to fast food chicken, you may notice a difference in taste, and we know why.

Delis use a different breading and seasoning blend

While fast food joints have their own secret ingredient in fried chicken like KFC's infamous 11 herbs and spices, some grocery store delis may use a blend from Alabama-based Wynn's Grain & Spice (via Wynn's official website). The brand's most popular breadings include their "All Natural Crimson Breading" and their "Fiery Hot Breading." One of the key ingredients in Wynn's breadings is paprika, which gives the chicken a "mouthwatering golden-brown finish," a spokesperson for the brand told Genuine Broaster Chicken

When hot chicken was taking off in 2018, the seasoning company developed an extra spicy blend so that grocery store delis could satisfy customer cravings (via Perishable News). "Seasonings allow retailers to play with innovative flavor combinations by topping fried chicken with a signature flavor for a limited time," the Wynn's spokesperson told Genuine Broaster Chicken. So, if you notice your grocery store experimenting with their fried chicken flavors, you may have the breading and seasoning the deli uses to thank.