Cult-favorite Korean fried chicken chain BB.Q Chicken recently opened its first NYC location in Koreatown, but before you lump it in with the rest of the city’s fried bird purveyors, know that this one comes with its own fried chicken university.
Equipped with six lecture rooms, a seminar-style auditorium, and a development lab helmed by 33 full-time researchers, BB.Q’s South Korean-based Chicken University is basically the Harvard of chicken academia. And after years of testing and tweaking recipes in its R&D center, the chain was finally ready to bring its notorious fried chicken stateside.
According to BB.Q chef Samuel Kim, the secret to the place’s renowned chicken is olive oil. The spot’s fry-masters/chicken scholars hand-batter drums and thighs to order and fry them in extra-virgin olive oil, which creates a longer-lasting flavor, an overall crispier texture, and a healthier piece of chicken (it’s free of trans fats when cooked in olive oil). For added spice, upon request, the chefs will hand brush each piece of the “golden olive chicken” with a secret house-made sauce (tomato, onion, garlic, and a top-secret spice blend).
Ultimately, with the use of the university, the poultry professionals from BB.Q have scientifically engineered a rendition of classic Korean fried chicken that is geared specifically towards New Yorkers. It embodies Korean barbecue and classic American comfort food, all at once. “[The R&D lab] gives BB.Q the opportunity to grow its roots here in America,” Kim explained, “the researchers don’t want to just limit themselves to Korean food.”
Check out the video above to see why you, too, should consider attending Chicken University.