Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Colonel Sanders, go eat a dick (KyoChon Chicken)

Signature flavor drumsticks

If you know me at all, you're already well aware that while superficially I appear to be a fairly normal 23 year old guy - loves sports, pees on things in public, makes completely inappropriate comments on Xbox LIVE - I actually have the persona of a teenage Korean fan girl residing within. I mean... Korea's given us so many things to be grateful for that its hard not to be appreciative... countless tear-jerking dramas, innovations in Starcraft strategy, ddeokbokki, "We Got Married," and SNSD. There're nine of them! That's not even fair. In any case, all of those things are pretty awesome to me, but there's something that transcends all of their contributions to my happiness (yes, even nine very attractive women singing and dancing)... Korean fried chicken - erection inducing drumsticks and wings that are crispy as fuck.

They were wrong

Ha KyoChon... you make it sound like I've never touched myself after eating fried chicken before! Well joke's on you...

I bet you're probably wondering... "what's so great about Korean fried chicken? This is Uh-meri-cuh. We don't need no imported fried chicken." While I do agree that Popeye's, KFC, Chick-fil-A etc. all serve up some decent fried chicken, when it comes overall flavor... they're all a bit mundane. Even with radical changes in spicing, they all tend to converge on a similar platform, one that's often plagued by dry meat, soggy skin, under seasoning, or just a general heaviness from excess oil. Korean fried chicken doesn't, or rather shouldn't, suffer from any of those problems. I won't pretend to understand the science behind their frying process (probably has something to do with the high APMs possessed by the line cooks), but there's a scary consistency. Every time I've had it, the meat has been succulent, the skin has been crispy, and the sauce has been titillating. Just like magnets, how do they work?

KyoChon's signature recipe (as seen in drumstick form at the top) was textbook KFC i.e. Korean fried chicken. The skin is something worthy of being eaten independently of anything else - like torikawa at a Japanese izakaya - and far more than just superfluous breading. It possesses both a structural crunchiness as well as a certain suppleness that I think of when eating a good katsu. As for the meat? It acts as the yin to the crusty yang. Ridiculously moist and tender, it provides a mild texture and flavor to counter the boldness of the protective layer. Despite how good the signature flavor tasted, it was still relatively disappointing. It's not that they weren't tasty as hell, I just don't know that I'd describe it as "sensual" or anything remotely inappropriate. They just couldn't really match up to these bitches:

Honey wings

Honey badgers don't give a shit about anything. The honey flavored wings are pretty much the bees knees for me when it comes to sauced chicken. Take everything good that I said about the signature recipe, and then lightly glaze it with a thin coating of a sweet soy garlic sauce. Every one of those shallow channels that exist on the surface of the regular fried chicken now gets filled with more sweet lovin' than you could ever imagine. Added bonus? It doesn't even stick to your fingers. Yeah, my brain is still full of fuck. Now that is full on sexual chicken.

I would like some of these cups

One does not simply "walk" into KyoChon...

I'm convinced that everything about KyoChon is magical. They have these kick-ass cups that work exactly like those nifty cold activated Coors cans. They come to the table looking like frosted glasses, but once you pour cold beverage inside, writing appears. It's kind of like when Gandalf taps on the dwarf door to Moria and words show up, but without the embarrassment of getting shown up by a hobbit when he outsmarts you and says "friend" in Elvish. Punk-ass... if I were Gandalf I would've kicked his midget ass. Regardless of how I feel about small people with large feet, I think you get my point. KyoChon is something magical to me, like most things Korean. Anyway, back to watching K-dramas.

KyoChon Chicken‎
319 5th Ave # 1, New York, NY 10016


Chris H said...

hahaha this post is awesome. Korea is #1!!!

esther (ambitious deliciousness) said...

I'm so glad korean fried chicken finally made it to the States. I have memories of eating delicious chicken as a child living in korea.

Rodzilla said...

You're hilarious, but more importantly...brb http://bit.ly/qBD4gP

Hungry said...

I just read this and you made my full-from-lunch stomach suddenly very hungry.

Ben said...

I've been meaning to try some korean fried chicken for a good while now, just haven't found a good place near me. Nearest Kyochon is LA, and that's a good 100 miles away, not worth the $20 in gas.

Nicholas said...

Chris H - while I can't agree 100% with that statement, Japanese -3 is very true.

esther - I'm so glad it's here too, I too have fond memories of eating delicious chicken as a child living in NYC haha.

Rodzilla - epic ride is epic. Makes Central Park look like butthole.

Hungry - I try. Some foods are easier to write about than others.

Ben - I dunno man... surely there's something closer though right? The number of Asians in Cali is ridiculously high so I would assume there's a non-franchised Korean fried chicken joint somewhere near you?

Kevin said...

I've been living in NYC for the past year and I STILL haven't gotten around to trying out some Korean Fried Chicken. For shame...

Rodzilla said...

That's not a ride homie, that's a drive to the nearest Kyochon.

Nicholas said...

Kevin - hit me up when you get back, we'll do BonChon, haven't gone to the new location since they disowned "Mad for Chicken."

Rodzilla - no man, that's an epic ride to KyoChon.

Patrick said...

Sorry to say man i am NOT a fan of Kyo Chon. I love korean fried chicken but fuck man Kyo Chon is EXPENSIVE AS SHIT for the little pieces they offer!

Now boka in East village offers bonchon chicken ALL YOU CAN EAT during happy hour. Holy shit that's jizz in my pants kind of excitement right there. You should check it out. They were NOT happy when i did it a few years back.

Nicholas said...

Patrick - you probably forgot how much the "original" Bon Chon charged before other places opened. I think you'd feel a bit differently in that case. I was willing to pay anything for their chicken back then. Relative comparison means KyoChon isn't really all that expensive.

Boka + AYCE Bon Chon is the better deal for sure, but I think your opinion is being muddled by pricing. KyoChon's chicken is hands down better in my opinion.

Patrick said...

Of course, its hard for me to judge anything on taste alone. Im such a cheap bastard that its always quantity over quality. I find it impossible to separate the cost and the taste. Everything to me is about value. But dont get me wrong sometimes the 5 star restaurants allow me to jizz in my pants and its completely worth it.

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