Better than Bonchon
A friend of mine... Mr. T used to make frequent trips to the big apple, I dedicate this post to him due to his unconditional love for korean fried chicken..or in precise terms..his love for bonchon. He can never end his trip without heading over at least once... I mean.. it's just fried chicken ..right?! I guess it's no Ordinary fried chicken.. I honestly think this guy would kill for his bucket of crispy yet succulent wings.. (and guys..he ain't black either..)
On one Saturday evening.. Mr. T was claiming of how "bored" he was and since it was around dinner time we decided to do some brainstorming..or at least I tried. He knew what he wanted.. a belly full of beer..and crispy fried chicken.. Mmm.. How tasty..(i am being sarcastic) being the nice friend that I am ..I agreed. So off we went on foot towards the 30's, Mr.T eager in his step, while I begged for him to slow down. We passed by k-town, bombarded by bright lights, and blaring jargon...interesting and entertaining. As we rounded the corner he stopped .. I was like.. hah? We're here?.. we stood in front of a newsstand and an office building with a sad glass door. Mr. T's like..yeah this is it! Kyochon just happened to be right across from us..and I asked him.. are you sure it isn't that one across the street? I turned around and he was already making his way up the narrow staircase to what I will soon come to know of as fried chicken heaven..
It was more of a cheap nightclub scene, the bar took majority of the space and the dining area was unheard of. It was dark and loud..with a cheesy array of colored lights dancing on the walls..the space was claustrophobic and on top of that.. a 30 minute wait.. -_-'' ... Thank god for the bar..cause that's where I headed straight for. We were finally seated and I was almost knocking elbows with my neighbor. I gave Mr.T the liberty to do all the ordering and sat there thinking if I should've made previous dinner plans.. (just kidding.) He orded half spicy and the rest honey glazed.. it arrived promptly, fragrant and piping hot. Mr. T...being the gentleman he is... offered me to choose first. I swear..as soon as my fingertips were barely on the hot wing he smiled with chicken in his mouth.. sneaky..
The chicken was good. Flavorful and I was amazed by how crisp it is.. You can hear a crunch as soon as your teeth sink in and the meat inside was tender and juicy. The skin was so crisp that it actually released itself from the flesh.. i don't know how to explain it..but it was almost like a peking duck..where the skin and the flesh is separated to create a crisp skin (yeah i even thought of that..).. anyway.. being the culinarian I am.. my mind got to thinking.. how is this possible!? i wonder if they double deep fried it...? could they have double battered it!? I dont know how they did it then.. but I do now... and the best part is.. Mr. T doesn't even have a clue..
I knew the key to anything fried and crispy = 350-375 F... and the important ingredients to create a crisp batter are cold soda water, and corn starch.. I just didn't know how much of each had to be incorporated into the batter.. So I played around with many different things.. and it came down to .. yes you need freezing cold water..but you dont have to use soda water.. corn starch is important.. but the secret ingredient was baking powder.. who would've thought huh?
The batter is good for everything you want fried (try fish and chips!)... the chicken has been sitting at room temp for an hour and it's still crispy.. I am very pleased..