Since 1976, Ralph Murphy’s recipe for pan-fried chicken has remained unchanged. The $19.95 fried chicken dinner gets you soup, salad, cornbread, and an entrée of pan-fried chicken, mashed potatoes, black-eyed peas, veggies, and a buttermilk biscuit. Dessert, usually fruit shortcake, is included.
79860 Avenue 42, Bermuda Dunes 760-345-6242; www.murphsgaslight.com
Tropicale is a swinging scene at Amado Road and S. Indian Canyon Drive and it’s about the last place you’d expect to find an awesome buttermilk-marinated fried chicken breast with red-eye gravy on a jalapeño waffle. But they’ve got it. And it’s awesome.
330 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs. 760-866-1952; www.thetropicale.com
In a shopping mall not far from Cathedral Canyon is neighborhood Mexican restaurant La Tablita, which puts out some outrageously good fried chicken for Sunday brunch. There’s a ton of good stuff in the buffet, from rellenos to enchiladas, but go easy so you have room for seconds on the chicken.
68369 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Cathedral City. 760-321-5935; latablita.menutoeat.com
Even more counterintuitive a source is Rancho Mirage’s Mediterranean cuisine hero Catalan, but every first Sunday of the month, Chef/Owner Drew Davis puts on a fried chicken feast that is so delicious that reserving several months ahead is highly recommended.
70026 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage. 760-770-9508; www.catalanrestaurant.com