Two Palate Dining: BonChon Chicken

She Said: BonChon Chicken

I love Southern cooking. I adore fried chicken. It’s one of my favorite things in the whole world to eat. I do have a small confession to make on the subject though. You know how every cook has a waterloo, something that they just aren’t very good at? Well, mine is cooking chicken legs. I can make dandy fried chicken, but I can’t make good fried chicken legs. I’m a really good cook and I can make almost anything from scratch. But, I’m not good at chicken legs. Well, to be fair I’ve only tried them once, but they didn’t turn out well at all. I’m a wonderful fried chicken cook in every area except I can’t do chicken legs. As a little girl and even into my teens my Mammaw always made chicken legs for my birthday because they were one of my favorite things to eat. Now that I’m older I do prefer white meat, but sometimes I still get a craving for chicken legs. RJ found the most wonderful place because they do amazing fried chicken… and it’s spicy!! It’s definitely the best of both worlds! BonChon Chicken is fabulous and it doesn’t break the bank to eat there- I’m in restaurant food love!

BonChon is a Korean restaurant that mostly makes different types of chicken.  It’s kind of like a Korean KFC. That is if KFC had good food, good service and was clean/ pretty enough to want to eat in (not a fan of the Colonel’s bad chicken). They are chain restaurant that have locations all over the world so keep your eyes out for one opening near you because they are awesome. The location that we go to is always very clean and the dining room is attractive. They do have TVs playing but thankfully one of them is always tuned to the Food Network (bonus points!). If you want to do take-out (which is so easy here) they always let you know how long you’ll be waiting. It does typically take 15-30 minutes for a take-out order, but you can call ahead. I think it’s worth the extra time waiting to get food that is well prepared and tasty. The employees have all been really friendly and seem really nice. I’m picky about my restaurant experience and I have really enjoyed our visits.

(Yes, we’ve been back already- it’s that good!)

The chicken here is fried and brushed lavishly with the sauce of your choice. Delish! The first time we went we tried two kinds of chicken: chicken breasts with soy garlic sauce and chicken legs with hot sauce. I didn’t like the chicken breasts because they felt very pressed and processed. I’m not a fan of meat that is pounded. I know that preparation is used in many different cuisines and I just don’t like it. I think it’s silly to take a fresh piece of meat and pound it flat. I didn’t like the soy garlic sauce either. It’s much too weak tasting and I didn’t taste any garlic. Thankfully, next I tried the chicken legs. They were amazing. The skin was crackly and shattered in just the right way when bitten into.  It was well seasoned and the spicy sauce is so very spicy.  Sometimes when you hear spicy you wonder how spicy is something really- it’s very, very HOT! If you like your food so spicy it makes your eyes tear up a little this is for you! The meat is always steaming once the yummy skin has been stripped away. It’s very moist and the meat itself almost has a tinge of spice. These chicken legs are amazing.

The other wonderful thing about BonChon is the sides. As many of you know I’m typically the picky one. I do have a lot of food allergies too, so that can make dining out almost perilous sometimes.  I am very happy to say that since being married to RJ my palate has expanded a lot. He’s introduced me and pushed me (gently) to try some wonderful things. However, the tables were turned at BonChon. We were able to get two sides with our first purchase and we got white rice (fine, a lot less dry than most places) and I ordered kimchi slaw! I was really excited to try kimchi and I thought why not. RJ looked at me like I was crazy and made sure to say he wanted white rice. I’ve always liked slaw. Well, I actually have a weird relationship with it. I don’t like cabbage or mayonnaise. I know. You are probably wondering why in the world I like slaw. I don’t know, I guess I think they are better together. I won’t eat slaw if it’s at all heavy on the mayo. I don’t eat my grandmothers’ (either one) slaw. But, I like it from trendy places that can go heavy on pepper and other bright ingredients. Since kimchi is peppered and fermented cabbage, I thought it seemed like a good thing to try. I love pepper and spice! It’s amazing. It was wonderful! It has such a strong taste and such a peppery bite that I find myself actually getting sad sometimes because I miss the kimchi. I need a recipe for that!

I’ve been back to BonChon already. I would go back tomorrow if we could. I will become the honorary mayor of BonChon Chicken if they asked me, too!

Chicken Breast with Soy Garlic- 0

Chicken Legs with Hot Sauce- 10

Kimchi Slaw- 10

Overall Rating- 8

BonChon Chicken's Spicy Chicken Leg

BonChon Chicken’s Spicy Chicken Legs

BonChon Chicken's Soy Garlic Chicken Breast

BonChon Chicken’s Soy Garlic Chicken Breasts

He Said: BonChon Chicken

A few years ago, a simple sign popped up in a local shopping center.  It has some Asian characters on it, and said “BonChon.”  Thinking it was just another mom and pop Chinese take out place I said to Kari “We’ll have to try that place sometime” and moved on.  Somehow, recently I discovered what was going on behind their black glass windows.  Asian fried chicken was being made right under our very noses!  It was then that the desire to try this place really took root.  Then, we had to walk right by BonChon on our way to Sweet Frog, and when we saw a huge plate of the chicken in question we just had to try it!  So, maybe a week later we ordered some take out, and had ourselves some fried chicken!

We ordered two small orders so we could try different kinds of meat and sauce.  We had the Legs with Spicy Sauce as one order, and their Boneless Breast meat with Soy Sauce.  Each order comes with one side, so we ordered the white rice and in a surprise move, Kari ordered the Kimchi Coleslaw.

The legs with spicy sauce were amazing!  They were incredibly spicy, and very crunchy.  Bone in chicken is hard to accomplish, and these guys really deliver.  The heat is intense.  It’s the best burn you’ve probably ever tasted.  This is not dumbed down for American audiences.  This is pure Korean heat coming at your taste buds.  I was stunned.

The second half of our order was great as well.  I loved the boneless breast with soy sauce.  While the spicy flavored legs are the rock stars, this was still really enjoyable.  The breast meat was still very fork tender, and the sauce was a very unique taste.  The flavor here is subtler than in the legs, but is still rich and nuanced.  The name by the way is a misnomer.  There’s so much more going on here than just soy sauce.  There’s sweetness and an undertone of garlic that is very enjoyable.  If you get them both (bigger orders can be ordered half and half sauces) can provide a nice soft landing for your palette.

The sides were very enjoyable.  The white rice is a little sticky, but good rice is supposed to be.  It wasn’t dry or hard.  The kimchi slaw on the other hand was incredible!  I’ve always hated the smell of kimchi and based on that alone I’ve never eaten any.  And I’ve always hated coleslaw.  I actually just hate cabbage in general.  So, it’s utterly unbelievable to me that my new favorite side dish is a combination of two cabbage dishes that I don’t enjoy.  It’s spicy too, but the cream from the mayonnaise in the coleslaw helps your mouth calm down from the spicy sauce.

Overall, one of the best take out meals I’ve ever had.

Legs with Spicy Sauce-10

Breast meat with Soy Sauce- 8

Kimchi slaw-10