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Local restaurants join national 'chicken war'

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The chicken war between Popeye’s and Chick-Fil-A has been on for weeks now. Sept. 12, 2019. (WLUK/Jerry Van Handel){ }

APPLETON, Wis. (WLUK) -- The chicken war between Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A has been on for weeks now.

The two popular national food chains made their debut in the Fox Valley last month, leaving people torn between the winner of best chicken.

But now, two local restaurants have also entered the fight in this chicken war.

Chick-Fil-A or Popeyes? Popeyes or Chick-Fil-A? The American Legion Post 38 of Appleton is caught in the crossfire and says, neither.

Chick-Fil-A sits at the head of W. College Avenue, and Popeyes is on the other side, but the American Legion says that the restaurant in the middle has the chicken that's just right.

“It tastes very good!” said 2nd vice commander of the American Legion Post 38 Mike Utech. “It's got a nice, crispy shell on it and, you know, moist chicken on the inside. It's very good."

Post 38 is no “chicken” and is ready to rustle some feathers in this all-out chicken war on College Avenue with the revival of its broasted chicken.

“It's fried under pressure in oil, so you end up with it less oily when you're actually serving it, and it cooks in a much quicker period of time,” Utech explained.

And the club says it has plenty of it -- which is more than others, like Popeyes, can say right now.

“We're not fast food,” Utech said. “You know, we're cooking it, we're buying it through local providers, we're cooking it here, it's centrally made to order, and they can come in and sit at a table, and eat it. We don't have a drive-thru, so we won't have any drive-thru lines that they have to wait in."

Broasted chicken has been on the menu there in the past but, now that they have recently become a Genuine Broaster Chicken licensed operator, it’s time for their broasted to be boasted.

The American Legion isn’t the only small restaurant along the College Ave. corridor with something to cluck about.

Just east of Popeyes, nestled in its own “cozy corner” is another piece of southern charm, with more than just a sandwich to brag about.

"Chicken sandwich? Woo, woo!” teased Natasha Banks, owner of the Cozzy Corner in downtown Appleton. “We do fried chicken...we keep it...collard greens, like your mom and grandma used to do it; we do all that good stuff."

Sure, Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A may have seemingly endless lines, but one thing they don’t have? The Food Network’s vote for Best Fried Chicken in Wisconsin.

“It was a surprise, obviously,” Banks recalled. “I was in here, and we were closed, because we're closed on Mondays, and a customer knocked on the door, and he had his phone in his hand, and he was like, 'Did you see this?!' So, it was pretty cool. It feels...it feels amazing!"

So, while others are debating their place in the pecking order, Banks and Utech suggest keeping it local at spots that have served the Fox Valley for years and aren’t flying the coop anytime soon.

The American Legion Post 38 now has $1 off special on any size broasted chicken dinner every Thursday.

It plans to also begin serving its broasted chicken on Sundays in the future.

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