And here’s the story.

This is a plate of green curry chicken that I ate at a KFC in Chiang Mai. (Sorry about the shoddy phone-photos.) It cost 59 baht (about $1.90), it was delivered to my table by a waiter, and it wasn’t surprisingly good, or not bad considering, but legitimately excellent.

Think this is an unfair comparison? Even setting aside all the local adaptations, like the baby pearl eggplant (those aren’t peas), fresh chili pepper, and lashings of canonical green curry, the chicken alone was crisper and juicier than any I’ve ever had at a KFC in America. That chicken thigh was split open, dusted in whatever magical substance they use to give it that scaly crust, fried to a crackle, and sent right to my table without ever seeing a heat lamp.