Fried chicken may be the ultimate comfort food.
It’s fast and filling, a relatively inexpensive offering that appears on menus across the country in some way, shape or form.
But very few of those restaurants take a simple pleasure like fried chicken and build their business around it.
Chicken Supreme in West Reading doesn’t just serve fried chicken, the restaurant specializes in it.
Like many main street restaurants, Chicken Supreme is shoehorned into a small space. The pick-up counter takes up most of the space, with limited seating at a raised counter along the side wall. Not the best place in town for a sit-down meal, but it works great for a menu built on take-out items.
The restaurant is also home to Sammy’s Steaks and manages Mulligan’s Fish Fry and Seafood at Green Dragon Market so the menu includes cheese steaks, crab cakes, oyster sandwiches and fried fish. But it is the chicken that takes top billing with fried breasts, thighs, drumsticks and tenders, served in dinner combos and boxes of eight to 32 pieces. They also have fried hot wings, sold in quantities from six to 100.
As a white meat fan, I opted for the two-breast dinner, served with fries, coleslaw and a dinner roll. The chicken must have gone right from the fryer to my box because a small puddle of oil had developed on the Styrofoam.
The white meat shown through the dark, crispy skin. There was no light, flaky breading to hide it. The wetness from the deep-fried bath left my hands dripping after every bite of the greasy goodness. Inside the box was also a small packet of Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, about the size of a jelly packet you would find at a diner. I took full advantage of it, dipping pieces of meat in it as if I were enjoying a holiday meal.
While my hunger would have been satisfied with just the chicken, I managed to also polish off the fries. They were the battered kind, the ones that just slide down with little effort. The final piece of my meal was the coleslaw, very creamy with finely chopped cabbage. Unfortunately most of it became sacrificed so I could finish the rest of my meal.
Julie is more of a dark meat fan than I so she opted for the standard two-piece dinner with a thigh and a drum. With less meat on her plate than my own, she was able to finish off her dinner (though I helped with a few fries).
Together, the two meals cost about $17. The great part about Chicken Supreme’s menu is that the price includes tax so there’s no guess work in the final cost.
There’s nothing fancy about Chicken Supreme, but there shouldn’t be. That’s not what it’s about. Fried chicken is comfort food, and comfort food is about simplicity and it’s about flavor.
That’s what Chicken Supreme excels at.
Price: Very Reasonable
410 Penn Ave
West Reading, PA 19611