Cheap Eats Renton: Heaven Sent Fried Chicken

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by SAINT BRYAN / Evening Magazine

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KING5.com

Posted on July 26, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 26 at 7:19 PM

Saint Bryan heads south for cheap eats in the heart of Renton, the eight largest city in Washington.

His first stop: Heaven Sent Fried Chicken on South 3rd Street. There you can meet the man who makes the world’s best fried chicken, according to Oprah.

“She had my chicken two nights in a row and once she got back to Chicago, she wanted it again for her birthday. So she flew me out,” said Ezell Stephens.

And it’s been Oprah’s fried chicken ever since.

The recipe belongs to Ezell Stephens, who has been deep frying chicken for more than 40 years.

As a result of legal battles, Ezell can’t call his new eateries Ezell’s, so this high priest of poultry came up with a new name: Heaven Sent.

“It’s a true name. It’s not made up,” he said.

While the name has changed, the recipe has not. And that’s what draws customers like James Pryor.

“Since the whole thing went down I kinda picked a side and came here for the original,” said James.

Any regrets?

“Absolutely not,” he said. “That’s why I’m here today.”

Ask Ezell a direct question about ingredients and you’re likely to get a riddle in response.

“Some of the people will know what it is, but now what it is,” laughed Ezell.

Here’s one secret: He deep fries the dark meat for 19 minutes; the white meat only 16.

So here’s what the world’s best fried chicken looks like: incredibly crunchy on the outside, peel away the top and it’s succulent on the inside.

Heaven Sent Fried Chicken is located at 509 3rd Street in Renton. There are also Heaven Sent Fried Chicken eateries in Everett and Lake City. For more information, find them on Facebook.

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