Expectations are funny things. Take fried chicken, for example. When you order it, you expect golden pieces of chicken coated in crunchy, glistening batter. If you order the Korean Fried Chicken at Boxcar, though, those expectations are shattered as soon as you see the dish coming your direction from the kitchen, like a bright red fireball.
The KFC, as it is known at Boxcar, is not just a meal of fried chicken. It’s an entire chicken, fried. If you want to get technical, it’s a Cornish hen, a small breed of chicken. After frying, the chicken is coated in a spicy-sweet, fire alarm-red gochujang hot sauce. It’s a dish that will turn heads in the dining room as it steams toward your table.
It feeds two to four, and those fortunate diners are treated to a tender, moist chicken that has been brined before getting deep-fried in a special Korean-style batter that involves egg whites and gluten-free rice flour. The exterior is light and crunchy, despite the fact that it is blanketed in a hot sauce that’s almost syrupy in texture, and has complex flavors.
One of the reasons those diners are fortunate is that Boxcar’s KFC is served only on Friday and Saturday nights, and only five KFC dishes are served each of those nights. Miss out, and you’ll have to wait until next week. And, once one of the eye-catching birds leaves Boxcar’s open kitchen, the rest aren’t far behind.
The new special isn’t a craze yet, but don’t be surprised if it becomes one soon. Although the spectacular visual of a whole, bright red fried chicken sets very high expectations, the flavor easily meets them.
Boxcar at Hop City West End. 1000 White St., Atlanta. 470-788-8171, boxcaratl.com.
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