Man Food: Korean Fried Chicken at Bon Chon

By | Chowder |

Welcome to Man Food, where burger pro Richard Chudy steps away from his usual burger beat to explore food challenges, street eats, and other gut-busting delights. Ladies are welcome, of course.

Photo by Katie Barszcz

I’m usually a bit ashamed when an unexpected craving for fried chicken strikes; I generally find the stuff to be over-cooked, with the meat offset by a pasty, breaded exterior and accompanied by stodgy biscuits—all in all, not my idea of a delicious meal. Luckily, the chicken at Bon Chon in Allston is a far cry from any sort of Colonel Sanders foolishness. This Korean phenomenon is downright addictive.

On the menu, you’ll find multiple options for the cuts and number of pieces of fried poultry available. I go for the wings and drumsticks combo, a ten-piece spectacle accompanied by cubes of pickled daikon and a bowl of coleslaw. The chicken comes in two flavors, soy-garlic and spicy, and I highly recommend ordering a mixture of both for an ideal combination of sweet, savory and mind-numbingly hot.

The breading of the twice-fried chicken is thin and light, creating just the right separation between the skin and the meat. When bitten into, the skin clings to the chicken, so each mouthful contains a perfect ratio of meat and skin, something that’s usually a challenge when it comes to mastering fried chicken. The skin itself is ultra-crispy, with the depth of the soy and the pungent garlic carrying through in each delicious bite of the soy-garlic flavor. The spicy version, meanwhile, is not for the faint of heart (though it probably won’t get you shipped out in an ambulance); there’s a whole lot of chiles dancing on your tongue, and just when you think you can’t handle more heat, you suddenly find yourself going back for another piece. The daikon and coleslaw help cool things down and cleanse your palate along the way, however.

While this might be the best fried chicken I’ve ever had, it does come with a hefty price tag, with the ten-piece platter clocking in around $20. However, it’s well worth the expense, as Bon Chon’s fried chicken proves worthy of a visit. Leftovers will proudly stay crispy in the fridge for days—though I highly doubt they’ll last that long.

(Bon Chon, 123 Brighton Ave., Allston, 617-254-8888)