While the dish's origins are solidly steeped in the South, cooks far and wide have embraced the indisputable truth: There are few things as delicious as a juicy plate of fried chicken. And Tom's Home Cookin', an iconic soul-food shack in Five Points, is the incontestable bastion of the bird. Plunged in oil until the batter and skin meld into a crunchy, golden exterior that adheres to the tender meat, then punctuated with salt and pepper, the fried chicken here deserves its cultish legion of dedicated diehards, all of whom will stand in line for however long it takes to feed their soul. Just be forewarned: Tom's shutters when the food runs out, and the fried chicken is almost always first to fly the coop.

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