Follow NZH Lifestyle's Trial and Error series where we try out the latest in food, viral trends, and beauty hacks so you don't have to.
This week's episode of Trial and Error sees the launch of a very tasty series, The Fast Food Five, where we sample the same popular food item from five different fast food establishments - think burgers, fries and pies - in order to determine which one really reigns supreme.
We went on an Auckland-wide chicken run to find the official "winner winner chicken dinner", sourcing samples from a variety of locations, with a range of price points, for our hungry panel to tuck into.
Not to be confused with delicious karaage chicken, or the many other tasty fried chicken varieties found on local menus, we narrowed this trial down to home style or Southern style chicken only. And in order to ensure a fair taste test, the panel was kept in the dark about where each chicken sample was from.
Rating the chicken on its crunch, moisture level, greasiness, seasoning and "wow" factor, here's the verdict from our panel of three self-proclaimed chicken aficionados: Storme, Mitch and Heath.
*While our best efforts were made to keep the chicken hot and crispy, some chicken had been sitting for longer which may have affected crunch level. We advise enjoying your fried chicken piping hot in store.
Country Fried Chicken - Kebab Time
Our panel found the Country Fried Chicken sample to be quite a moist little number. It got extra points for crunch factor and value for money too.
The CFC also passed Storme's rigorous, greasy-handed testing, picking up bonus points for "wow factor".
Moisture level: 8/10
Wow factor: 6/10
Price: $12.90 for three thighs with chips or $10.90 for a thigh and two drumsticks with chips
Bird on a Wire
Quickly dubbed by our panel as "Ponsonby chicken", this one came in smaller portions and had not one but two fancy dipping sauces.
It may have looked crunchy, but the panel was left underwhelmed upon first bite and decided it lacked wow factor.
Moisture level: 2/10
Wow factor: 3/10
Price: $15 for box of 8-10 bites
*Several pieces may have disappeared on the delivery person's long car journey.
Tucking into this bit of chicken, it appeared our old mate the Colonel had done it again. Our panel decided the secret herbs and spices made the meat incomparable and gave it an elusive 12/10.
While Mitch said KFC couldn't get too many wow factor bonus points, his decision was overturned by the newly appointed NZ Herald Lifestyle Chicken President, Storme.
Seasoning: 12 spices/10
Moisture level: 10/10
Wow factor: 8/10
Price: $3 per thigh, $9 for all three
While Ralph's seasoning really hit the mark with our panel, the lack of moisture let the tasty morsels down, with only 2.5 points out of 10.
Ralph's also provided a sauce, which Mitch felt made this yet another "Ponsonby" sample. However, in classic Mitch style, he was wrong. The tasty chicken had come from just around the corner to the foodie MVP strip that is Dominion Rd.
Moisture level: 2.5/10
Wow factor: 4/10
Price: $15 for box of 6-8 bites
*Two pieces may have been missing from the plate. The car ride was really long, okay?
Day and Night
We've all found ourselves in a petrol station late at night, looking longingly at the cabinet of pies and fried goodness. But have you ever tucked into a piece of fried chicken from said petrol station?
Our panel did and, surprisingly, it wasn't all bad news. In fact, Day and Night chicken was awarded a solid 9/10 on the crunch-o-meter and provided a lot of chicken value for money.
Moisture level: 2/10
Wow factor: 4/10
Price: $11 for three pieces
And the winner is:
At the end of the finger licking good taste test, KFC came out on top. All three members of the panel confessed the classic made the top of their list, closely followed by The Country Fried Chicken sample.
What should we try next?
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