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The Counter achieves the perfect ratio of crunchy crust to explosively juicy meat. Orders come with cheddar-mashed spuds, but they’re not worth the extra artery cloggage. $14.25. 550 Wellington St. W., 416-601-3533.
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A two-day brine followed by a gentle poach yields maximum succulence, a dash of herbes de Provence gives it a Gallic twist, and a drizzle of maple syrup brings it home. $14. Caplansky’s, 356 College St., 416-500-3852.
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The Drake Café
Crackling pieces of boneless breast spiced with cumin, dry mustard and smoked paprika are served on top of parmesan-pumped caesar salad. $13. The Drake Café, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042.
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A plump bird gets its edge from a two-day cure in salt and secret spices that flavour the meat right down to the bone. Collard greens and coconut rice and peas accompany. $17. Harlem Underground, 745 Queen St. W., 416-366-4743.
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Moist, garlic-perfumed tenderloins are encased in a feathery batter as crispy as corn flakes. They come with house-made honey-mustard and chipotle barbecue sauces. $15. Real Sports, 15 York St., 416-815-7325.
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A soy, mirin and ginger marinade creates Japanese-style McNuggets that are addictively sweet and salty. $6.30. Guu, 398 Church St., 416-977-0999.
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The Stockyards makes the best fried chicken in town. The bird gets 24 hours in brine, 24 hours in buttermilk and a shake in thyme- and jerk-seasoned flour. For brunch, chef Tom Davis adds a hot-sauce-molasses-citrus glaze and serves it with waffles. $12. 699 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-658-9666.
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A double-dip in buttermilk and seasoned flour creates a magnificent crust. Sides of kohlrabi slaw and a Thunder Oak gouda biscuit elevate it to Toronto’s tastiest fine dining fried chicken. $20. C5, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-7928.
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The Bucket List