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Top Scran Awards: The best fried chicken in Preston

Posted on - 11th March, 2023 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Competitions, Food & Drink, Lostock Hall, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Restaurants in Preston, South Ribble News, Takeaways
Selection of fried chicken from Preston
I’m not even going to try and make this fancy

Our readers nominated their favourite purveyors of fried chicken in Preston, and we put their three top votes in front of our Top Scran Awards panel.

Third: Smashed Preston

  • Crunch: 7/10
  • Taste: 6/10
  • Reader vote: 3rd (1 point)
  • Total: 14
Smashed Preston fried chicken
Smashed Preston’s chicken strips in their naked splendour

Smashed Preston’s chicken carried the least seasoning of the three, so would be a safe option for picky eaters or those weird families who can share things without it turning into an epic drama about who has 0.06th of a gram less than their sibling.

Customers can’t order food to take away over the phone at Smashed Preston, they have to go to the restaurant, order and then wait until it’s cooked.

Due to Smashed Preston’s popularity all the tables were booked, so after a few minutes of sitting at various tables until the designated customers arrived, I ended up unexpectedly sitting outside on Lancaster Road by myself on a Friday night in my slobbiest clothes and gardening crocs, watching everyone out on The Razz all glammed up. It was like an anxiety nightmare I might have had when I was 15, except I was sat on a bench, not a toilet. 

It took 35 minutes to eventually get the food from when I’d ordered it, which is a long time to wait when it couldn’t be pre-ordered and there was nowhere to wait.  

The four strips – priced at £6.50 – were sturdy, mildly seasoned, tender, had a good crunch and weren’t at all greasy, and sharing types could perk their chicken up with one of the dips if they chose, making Smashed Preston’s fried chicken a great all-rounder. 

Takeaway issues aside, everything that I’ve had previously from Smashed Preston to eat in has been consistently phenomenal, so I still rate it as one of the best independent restaurants in Preston, just not as a takeaway that doesn’t take phone orders and doesn’t have a waiting area. For anyone ordering food to go, I’d recommend that they first ask for an estimate of how long the wait will be, don’t wear their crocs and take a coat.

Read more: Review: Preston restaurant serving smashing burgers and Canadian comfort food

Second: Marj and Reta at The Hunters

  • Crunch: 8/10
  • Taste: 7/10
  • Reader vote: 2nd (2 points)
  • Total: 17
Marj and Reta's fried chicken
Marj and Reta’s chicken tenders looking artfully dishevelled

Marj and Reta’s chicken tenders were almost exactly the same as Smashed Preston’s, except for an extra hint of a hot spice. It livened things up a little whilst still being mild enough for all fried chicken lovers.

A slightly darker colour and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, chillies and spring onions meant it looked more appetising than those from Smashed Preston, giving them a visual edge as well as an added crunch and flavour. 

It cost £5.50 for three chicken tenders. Takeaway food could only be ordered through JustEat, which added an extra 50p on to the price. We ordered for collection and it was hot and ready to go on the dot, which was a bonus.

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First: KimJi Korean

  • Crunch: 9/10
  • Taste: 9/10
  • Reader vote: 1st (3 points)
  • Total: 21
KimJi Korean fried chicken
KimJi’s fried chicken was magnificent but the three flavours were hard to tell apart

As KimJi Korean had three flavours of fried chicken on the menu, we ordered the selection box that featured all three, as well as a small can of coke and a pile of ramen noodles that we ignored. It came to £14.45 and was delivered via Uber Eats for an additional £1.74.

They were the only dish of the three that came in a sauce, but still managed to hold their crunch. The crispy coating was sturdy but surprisingly light which, according to Google, was likely due to the addition of cornstarch. 

The three flavours listed on the menu were sweet chilli, honey and soy, and smoky and spicy. None of us could tell which was which, probably due to the sticky sweet and sour sauce in which they were liberally coated. However, all of them were superb; bringing garlic and ginger in with the tang of the sauce, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and a good zip of heat coming from the Gochujang paste. 

They might be a little too spicy for anyone who dislikes heat but, for those that do, they are a magical blend of intense flavours that perfectly complement each other. The texture also contributes to the joy of eating KimJi’s fried chicken, adding an element of ASMR to the experience.

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Both the panel and our readers voted KimJi’s fried chicken as being the best in Preston, earning them a coveted Blog Preston Top Scran certificate that will be unceremoniously presented to them via Facebook Messenger, enabling Mark Zuckerberg and his nosey mates to also share in the joy.

Nice one, KimJi Korean! 

Have you been caught out in public wearing crocs? Own up in the comments so I don’t feel so vulnerable and alone.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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