Certain food items are often ruined by fast food institutions, in that we are saturated and inundated with supersized portions of half-assed quality. This scenario certainly applies to fried chicken; redemption, however, has arrived in the earthly guise of Korean fried chicken. Korean fried chicken differs from its North American counterpart in numerous ways, not the least of which includes the welcome application of sticky, spicy and sweet, sesame-studded sauce.
Fortunately, there are at least two (and purportedly more) places in Edmonton in which to procure this most fabulous of fowl. Coco Deep Fried Chicken, though a bit vexing to find in a south side strip mall, trumps all others with unrequited, unabashed crunch. Coco's miraculously textured batter stays crisp under a glossy blanket of peppery sauce, which tends towards the fiery end of the heat spectrum. Somehow, the meat stays firm and moist, the sauce stays saucy, and the batter remains crunchy until the last bite is consumed. It defies physics.
A convoluted drive to the city's deep south reveals Wing Chicx. Intentionally misspelled name notwithstanding, the Chicx' chicken plays a strong hand. Their version is saucier than that of Coco's, underscoring the gratis wetnaps provided by the management. The crust is thinner and softer, but the sauce nicely balances sweet with heat, and has a pleasant vinegar follow-through.
Sample size, obviously, would not stand up to statistical rigour, but both have initiated renewed faith in the practice of deep-frying chicken. If only one could could combine Coco's crunchiness with Wing Chicx's awesome sauce.