Off-Menu Fried Chicken Dinners at ChurchKey in D.C.


ChurchKey's fried chicken dinner platter. Clockwise from the bottom left: General Tso's crispy wings, buttermilk thighs and drumsticks, Mexican style corn on the cob, panzanella salad, jerk seasoned chicken tenders, and biscuits with maple butter. [Photographs: Brian Oh]


Fried Chicken

Digging into the cluckin' awesome world of our favorite fried food.

Up until now, if you wanted fried chicken from ChurchKey, you'd have to wait until Sunday. Even then, despite offering excellent chicken and waffles or the crazy Luther sandwich, if you just wanted a giant platter of chicken, you'd be out of luck. All of that has changed; ChurchKey has moved the fried chicken service to midweek. The off-menu fried chicken dinner for four ($42) is now on Wednesdays.

The house-butchered chicken is served up three ways: classic buttermilk, jerk, and General Tso's. The buttermilk comes as thighs and drumsticks and is the quintessential southern fried chicken experience. The skin is thin, crispy, and well-seasoned while the meat is incredibly moist.

The jerk comes as a large serving of chicken tenders (easily the largest of the three). The jerk seasoning has a mild heat and tastes subtly of allspice. If you're shoving the jerk tenders in your mouth immediately after the buttermilk, the flavors might blend together, but give yourself some breathing room to really appreciate the different flavors.

General Tso's crispy wings have a sweet soy flavor familiar to anyone that's had chicken at a place like Bon Chon Chicken. Chef Bailey refers to the wings as "General Satan's" due to the spice and, while they are mildly spicy, if you're accustomed to spicy food, they likely won't live up to that moniker for you. To accompany the chicken, the platter also comes with Mexican style corn on the cob topped with a spicy sambal mayo, bread crumbs, sesame, and cilantro; a panzanella salad with heirloom tomatoes and burrata; and four small, airy biscuits with maple butter.


Housemade brioche doughnuts two ways: vanilla cream filled with strawberry marmalade and chocolate filled with marshmallow and graham cracker.

If that weren't enough, the meal is topped off with four of Birch & Barley pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac's freshly fried doughnuts. They'll rotate flavors; our night we got chocolate filled brioche topped with marshmallow and graham cracker (think s'mores) and a vanilla cream filled brioche topped with a strawberry marmalade. The brioche is light and fluffy and the fillings aren't overly sweet. A great way to end an already heavy meal.

The meal feeds four comfortably and, for $42, it's a good deal. But be advised, ChurchKey sold out by 7 p.m. the first two Wednesdays it was available. So call three of your friends and start thinking of excuses for ducking out of work early on Wednesdays to commemorate Hump Day with a tray full of fried chicken and plenty of beer (of course).

ChurchKey 1337 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005 (map) 202-567-2576;