Fabulous fried chicken, finally


I prepare food for a living, so it’s the last thing I want to do in my free time. I can’t afford to have every meal cooked for me, though, so I came up with a solution: I make a giant vat of pasta salad and eat that for every meal I don’t have at work.

However, a problem with my solution arose last week when I inevitably grew so tired of my monolithic meal prep that I couldn’t bear to look at it, much less eat it for dinner.

As replete with color and vegetable variety as my salad was, I decided my takeout should veer in the absolute opposite direction, toward something I’d been craving for months: a fried chicken dinner. I haven’t found any place in the Lansing area that offers exactly what I’m looking for in this category: not just crispy, but crunchy. I’m not saying it’s objectively the best kind of fried chicken; I’m just saying it’s what speaks to my soul.

Being unfamiliar with Saroki’s, which turns out to be a Michigan-only chain, I decided to see if maybe it had what I needed. I ordered the three-piece combo, which came with a biscuit and my choice of side and drink.

The sound of my first bite alone let me know I’d found what I was looking for. I got a thigh, a leg and a breast, all coated in a glorious, peppery, thick layer of fried breading. To be honest, the debris of breading chunks littering my plate afterward was maybe the best part, but the meat itself was great as well: tender and juicy without the grease trailing down my chin with every bite.

For my side, I got mashed potatoes and gravy so I could pull off pieces of chicken and drag them through. This wasn’t as spectacular as the chicken, but the sides in a meal like this are just backup singers whose sole role is to complement the star of the show. The biscuit, though. Golden and buttery, with a soft interior and a slight crumble, it tasted fresh and wasn’t dry at all. It was like the surprise guest star that the singer you’ve gone to see brings on stage for a duet.

Unnecessary metaphors aside, if your taste in fried fowl runs in the same direction as mine, I’d recommend Saroki’s. At $10.99, the three-piece combo is a nice, affordable option when your meal prep just isn’t cutting it.



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