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Zagat anoints KFC No. 1 fried chicken. Really?

The fried chicken at Salamander's in Greenport

The fried chicken at Salamander's in Greenport Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

KFC is running TV ads informing viewers that, according to the Zagat Survey, it serves the No. 1 fried chicken in the country, a claim that puzzled me since KFC isn’t listed in any Zagat city survey that I have ever seen.

It turns out that KFC won “best fried chicken” in a special Fast-Food survey published online back in August 2010. According to Zagat, the survey relied on feedback from 6,518 participants.

Other “winners” include Five Guys, for burgers; McDonald’s, for french fries; Starbucks, for coffee; Ben & Jerry’s, for ice cream. Overall top food went to In-N-Out Burger, followed by Papa Murphy’s, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys and, in fifth place, Chipotle. Wow, how amazing must In-N-Out, Papa Murphy’s and Chick-fil-A be to best Chipotle? By me, Five Guys doesn’t hold a candle.

Getting back to fried chicken, I was surprised not to see Roy Rogers on the list. I semi-raved about the fried chicken about two years ago; Long Island’s last Roy Rogers, in Shirley, closed in November 2010.

Long Island isn’t a hotbed of great fried chicken, but we have a few contenders. Salamander’s (414 First St., Greenport, 631-477-3711) is my top pick. Also recommended, LL Dent (221 Old Country Rd., Carle Place, 516-742-0940) and Zorn's three locations (4321 Hempstead Tpke., Bethpage, 516-731-5500; 1939 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow, 516-357-7300; 2495 Merrick Rd., Bellmore, 516-826-8000).

Fried chicken at Salamander's in Greenport