I tried fried chicken from grocery stores Lucky Supermarket, Safeway, and Walmart Supercenter.
Lucky's option looked and tasted great, and I wasn't a fan of Walmart's breading.
Safeway's chicken didn't look great, but I'd happily buy it again because the meat was so tasty.
I bought a fried breast and thigh from each grocery store.
Fried chicken is a versatile, crowd-pleasing lunch or dinner that's much easier to buy than make from scratch. So I decided to compare fried chicken from three grocery-store delis.
Where I live in San Francisco, California, neither my local Costco nor Whole Foods had any fried chicken when I checked. Eventually, I scored options from Lucky Supermarket, Safeway, and Walmart Supercenter.
I tried fried thighs and breasts from each chain to see how both types of meat tasted.
I first tried the fried chicken from Lucky Supermarket.
Lucky Supermarket is a California-based grocery chain that's very similar to the popular store Albertsons.
Lucky's chicken was pretty good.
The fried chicken had a crunchy coating with a nice bite, but the meat was still moist and moderately flavorful.
It wasn't overly oily or salty, and the batter stuck to the chicken instead of flaking off.
I didn't notice any obvious seasonings other than salt.
I tasted Safeway's fried chicken next.
I got four pieces — a leg, thigh, wing, and breast — from Safeway.
At first glance, I didn't think the chicken looked very appetizing. Instead of having a consistent, crunchy coating, it was patchy.
The crust looked like it was flaking off, and on some parts of the chicken, there was just a thin layer of batter that didn't have any texture.
I was really impressed by this option.
This chicken was dangerously tasty.
Even though the batter was on the thin side and the thigh seemed a bit overcooked, the meat was still so moist.
I didn't think it was as nicely fried as Lucky's and the coasting wasn't the crispiest, but it still made a major impression for the incredible flavor of the meat alone.
I finished my taste test with Walmart's fried chicken.
After waiting for 20 minutes for a fresh batch to be brought out, I had high hopes for Walmart's fried chicken.
Overall, I thought Walmart's chicken was somewhat bland.
The coating was super crunchy, but not quite crispy.
Even though the texture was still good, I missed having a crispy, oily crust. This chicken tasted like it was fried in bread crumbs instead of batter.
I also thought the coating lacked flavor since it wasn't particularly salty. Additionally, I didn't love the meat, as it tasted similarly bland to me.
I'd gladly buy Safeway's fried chicken again.
Even though Safeway's option wasn't the prettiest, I kept wanting to eat more. Somehow, it reminded me of the deliciousness of a rotisserie chicken.
The meat was moist and perfectly salty. And although the fried coating wasn't very crispy and didn't entirely cover the chicken, the flavor was great.
If I was craving fried chicken, I would either go to Safeway or a tried-and-true fast-food joint.
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