7 (Sat) April 2012
from Dusi Kentucky Chicken
at Hosan Women’s Hospital
-Sinsa, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
When I first moved back to Korea in the mid-80s, fried chicken was all the rage. It was called “Kentucky” (켄터키) – not “Kentucky Fried Chicken,” not “Kentucky Chicken.” Everywhere, neon signs flashed “Kentucky.” People would say, “Let’s eat Kentucky.” Different from the fried chicken of today (which is now referred to as “chi-kin”), instead of being heavily battered and breaded, the chicken was lightly coated in flour and seasonings; the chicken was cooked in oil that was never replaced but continually topped off, turning darker and richer with every batch, making each successive batch of chicken that much darker and richer. Kentucky was beautiful. Alas, it’s virtually impossible to find these days.
This place does it old school. No batter, no breading. Just flour and seasonings, including a dash of curry powder that gave it an interesting flavor kick. Hopefully, they now use oil fit for human consumption and change it, or at least clean it out, every so often. Whatever, the meat was perfectly greasy and juicy and crispy and savory all at the same time – the best fried chicken that I’ve had in years.
The last time that I had it so good was five years ago in the summer of 2007, at this same place. When DJ was born, my movements for 3 weeks afterwards were limited to a walking-distance radius of the hospital and postpartum recovery center. I tried everything in the area. A lot of those meals were takeout, stuff that I could bring back to the facility, stuff that went well with booze . Among them, I have the fondest memories of the chicken here.
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