Skip to main content

The Seoul Chicken Guide to Wings

seoul chicken guide to wings
Image used with permission by copyright holder
We’re in the middle of football season, a time when chicken wings are of the utmost importance. Getting or making a good chicken wing may seem like a straightforward task, but sometimes it proves easier said than done. Sometimes you get wings that lack crispness, that are weighed down by sauce; wings that just don’t do the trick.

Chaz Brown
Image used with permission by copyright holder

To get the inside scoop on the right way to do wings, we were lucky enough to sit down with Chef Chaz Brown at Seoul Chicken, his restaurant and bar in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Effusive and charismatic, the former Top Chef contestant chatted with us while hungry patrons filled the available space at the bar to watch Thursday Night Football, plow through piles of wings, and talk fantasy football with Chef Brown himself.

After working as the chef de cuisine at Fatty Crab, Chef Brown spent time as a consultant taking on various projects. However, when the space for Seoul Chicken became available, he saw it as a way to take the familiar texture of the chicken wing and “turn the dial to someplace more exotic.”

And that’s exactly what Seoul Chicken is—a place where the familiar and exotic meet. There’s cutting edge art by Brian Kirhagis (aka BK the Artist) hanging on the wall, as well as space for football on a pull down projector. It is a restaurant where watching the afternoon game with wings and beer can turn into cocktails, dinner and then some intimate, late-night chatter.

Seoul Chicken Seating
Image used with permission by copyright holder

But back to the wings. Here are a few important tips we picked up from Chef Chaz Brown that will help improve your wing game.

Brine

At Seoul Kitchen, Chef Brown gives his chicken a twenty-four hour brine in a mixture of water, salt, sugar, cilantro root and turmeric (for color). The chicken is then patted dry and dredged with tapioca starch and rice flour, which are both gluten free.

Poach

Next, the chicken is poached at a low temperature so that it is completely cooked through. Finally, all the pieces are air-dried and receive a hard fry at 375°. The second fry focuses solely on crispness, which is in the Korean style—hence Seoul Chicken.

Flavor

Currently, Chef Brown’s wings come in seven flavors: gochujang buffalo, palm sugar and kalamansi, sriacha and honey, fish sauce and garlic, Szechuan peppercorn and sea salt, habanero kimchi, and Seoul dry spice. For beginners, the palm sugar and kalamansi (a popular Asian citrus fruit)  is like an approximation of Chinese duck sauce; the Szechuan peppercorn and sea salt is an imagining of the sea salt and pepper potato chip as a chicken wing; and the habanero kimchi is just straight up spicy. Chef Brown is currently looking to replace some of his flavors—the winner of the restaurant’s fantasy football league will work with him to craft a new flavor recipe.

Cooking Time

For those of you looking to impress at home or at a tailgate, Chef Brown highly recommends giving your chicken an initial slow and low cook (you can even bake your chicken first), so that the meat is done all the way through. After that, you can really focus on texture and crispness (and not doneness) in your second fry.

Seoul Chicken Wings 2
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sauce

When it comes to sauce, Chef Brown is adamant that you want to use ingredients with low water content. Ingredients with a high water content will compromise the texture of your wings. And you want to use items with a decent amount of sugar so they coat and remain on the outside of your wings. So ingredients such as Sriacha and honey are perfect ingredients to experiment with at home.

Chef Chaz Brown doesn’t cook to solely impress. He wants to cook his own way and “hopefully people will like it.” So far, at Seoul Chicken, it seems to be working. And if you take some of his tips, we guarantee that you’ll impress your friends and fellow tailgaters.

All food images courtesy of Justine Dungo.

Matt Domino
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Domino is a writer living in Brooklyn. His fiction has appeared in Slice and The Montreal Review, while his non-fiction…
From $350 to $1,399: The 5 best outdoor pizza ovens in 2024
ooni koda pizza oven review

Whether you're just starting on the craft of pizzas or you're a veteran who wants to make them in your backyard, you're going to want an outdoor pizza oven. If you have one, you can make your own delicious pizzas for your parties, and even try your hand at different recipes every night for your family's meals. However, with all of the options that you can shop, it may be overwhelming to narrow down your choices to the best outdoor pizza oven for you. To help you out, we've rounded up this list, with explanations on why we're going with these recommendations.

The major advantage of outdoor pizza ovens over traditional ovens is that they're capable of reaching higher temperatures in less time, which is necessary to get a perfectly cooked crust without burning the toppings. With an outdoor pizza oven, cooking will be done in a few minutes, for the ability to make pizzas pretty quickly so your family and friends won't wait for long. The best outdoor pizza ovens offer more than just this though, so if you're looking for something in particular, read on to find the cooking tool that you may have been looking for.
The best outdoor pizza ovens in 2024

Read more
Get creative: How to use hibiscus in your cocktails this spring
How to use hibiscus in cocktails
Alcoholic cocktail with pieces of fruit and berries in a bowl

Hibiscus is a great ingredient to incorporate into your cocktail game. Offering radiant color and a unique flavor, the flower is often converted to tea but also can be used as a syrup, lesser-known liqueur, soda, and more. And we especially like it in a good spring cocktail, as hibiscus is both floral and refreshing.

Why hibiscus in a cocktail? Because your mixology game could use a little creativity. There are enough boring cocktails out there made with the same old lineup of ingredients. Those are fine for regulars, but you're a budding cocktail artist.

Read more
This fan-favorite kitchen brand just launched a new espresso machine collection
We love these espresso machines from KitchenAid
KitchenAid Espresso machine

KitchenAid has been a mainstay in most American kitchens for over a hundred years now. With its time-honored, top-notch appliances that include everything from everyone's favorite stand mixer to ultra-chic and powerful dishwashers, this beloved brand has something for everyone. And while our kitchen countertops are likely already beautifully adorned with a plethora of KitchenAid assistants, it's time to make room for yet another must-have appliance from this illustrious brand.

For those of us who simply cannot begin the day without a perfectly crafted espresso, KitchenAid has gifted us with not just one, but an entire collection of absolutely stunning, fully automatic espresso machines.
The collection

Read more