Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Not Your Father's KFC

Where is the great fried chicken in this city? I've tried several of the pretenders to the crown: Rosco's, Dinah's, Memphis, Aunt Kizzie's... They're all fine in their own way, but all share a very nasty flaw: they are as greasy as heck. Full of batter and Crisco, they totally blow out that food pyramid. It's a once a year luxury I shouldn't afford.

Korean fried chicken to the rescue. Okay, all the Koreans say how late to the game we are on this fried chicken craze. Fine, I know. Same with cell phones too. And frozen yogurt, we get it. For those of us uninitiated, these are the crispiest specimens of the fried stuff you can find. The fat is almost all rendered leaving a crackling skin. It has the effect on the bird like the skin on suckling pig or Peking duck. You pay for this kind of perfection, it takes about 30 minutes to prepare. Good thing there's pickled radish to snack on while you wait... and wait.

In the beginning, all I knew was Kyochon. The lone K(orean)FC palace dropped from the heavens to spread joy to the chicken lovers on Earth. Now we've discovered the ode to chicken called BonChon. It offers a garlicky and spicy version of their specialty. Both offer the same rendered-to-the-skin crispiness. The differences are in the details. Kyochon dismembers the parts to unknown, where BonChon serves its pieces in recognizable form. Kyochon is more garlicky. BonChon's spicy is sharper and more sudden. Kyochon has side dishes other than fries. (Although the sides are just dishes of more chicken.) But whose cuisine reigns supreme? I can't decide. Throw in the old favorite FuRaiBo and it's a chicken extravaganza up in here.

You might say I'm partial to Asian versions. I'd like to think I'm partial to the better versions. That southern fried stuff has got to bring it if it wants to play and so far they don't. Or maybe I like my batter light and my flavors kicked up a notch. Don't take my word for it. Give it a try. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised and will totally change what you think fried chicken should taste like. Your grandma doesn't have a monopoly on the stuff after all. Hollah!


DiDi said...

I didn't wanna do this but you made me. YOU CHEATERS!!! FURAIBO IS FIRING YOU! YOU'RE SO FIRED!!!!!

~ Bud Select said...

3 words. fried chicken fetish