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The Seoul Hot and Sweet N Spicy wings take starring roles at Mighty Chick DFW. Photo by Kristian Lin

I remember having a great urge to eat Korean fried chicken after I watched Extreme Job while also knowing that there wasn’t any place for me to go to nab that tasty treat. It’s puzzling: Even though our area has a sizable population of Korean émigrés and their descendants, we haven’t had a place that really serves this dish, despite the vogue that it has enjoyed elsewhere. You’d think someone would have set up a spot, especially since fried-chicken joints are relatively easy to handle compared with other types of restaurants. (In South Korea proper, most such establishments are owned by retirees.)

Mighty Chick DFW
8247 Rufe Snow Dr, Watauga. 817-720-9573. 11am-9:30pm Sun, 5-9:30pm Mon-Wed, 11:30am-9:30pm Thu, 11am-10:30pm Fri-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.

Instead, most of the Korean restaurants here are barbecue places, which makes sense, since Koreans and Texans share a love of the slow-grilled meat. For chicken, you used to have to go to Denton or the far side of Dallas to find anything. No more, though, because Mighty Chick DFW recently opened in Watauga in a strip mall on Rufe Snow Drive. It has tremendous wings, which would be enough of a recommendation. If their Korean fried chicken wouldn’t pass muster with a purist from Seoul or Busan, it’s still the best we have.

I drove up to this place expecting a bare-bones establishment with a few tables like other fried-chicken joints. Nope, this is a full-service sports bar with TVs, outdoor seating, and a decent selection of rotating seasonal craft beers on tap. If you’re unsure which beer to drink with Mighty’s seven different flavors of chicken, pairings are written in big letters on one of the walls inside. (It would be nice if the bar served soju, which is what Koreans typically drink with their fried bird, but no Korean will turn up their nose at a beer.) The food is only chicken, with no burgers, pizza, or non-chicken entrees to distract the kitchen — if you’re vegan, you’ll need to stick to the sides.

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Speaking of which, appetizers come in categories of sides (which come free with some main dishes) and bites (which need to be ordered separately). I ordered the Cheesy Snowflake fries, which are dusted in a cheese powder that had a hint of sweetness that I couldn’t identify the source of. (My server was no help with this.) Whatever it was, I found myself unable to stop eating the potato sticks. Better news: The cheesy snowflake flavor can also be applied to your chicken. Among the bites, my onion rings were sliced thick enough to yield a substantial crunch and didn’t give me the downer of onions sliding out of the rings when I bit into them.

I was a bit underwhelmed by the Crispy Wave chicken, which is the kitchen’s version of extra crispy chicken. While the bird was reasonably juicy and flavored with paprika underneath the coating, that coating wasn’t the torrent of crunchiness that I’ve had from the extra crispy options at KFC or Popeye’s. I had the Nashville Hot chicken on top of a salad, and it must be tuned to the lowest level when it comes that way, because I could taste the tang of the buttermilk marinade underneath the spice. I appreciated that, but the romaine, cherry tomatoes, and cheddar underneath the chicken were pretty boring stuff.

No, the reason to come to this place is the wings. First of all, they’re huge — I’m used to ordering 15 for a meal at Wing Stop or such places, but I found myself full after eating just eight of Mighty Chick’s wings. They are not double-fried the way authentic Korean fried chicken is, but even so, the kitchen kept them crunchy even underneath the coating of sauce. The Sweet N Spicy sauce was reminiscent of chile jam and quite good. Beside it, the Seoul Hot sauce was the real deal, bringing the familiar taste and sting of gochujang to my lips. The fermented bean paste adds funky and earthy notes to all the spice (which was on a level high enough to make me sweat), and it’s why I prefer the Korean stuff to the Nashville and Buffalo styles of hot chicken. Just be advised: Either of these styles makes for a sticky eating experience, and you will go through napkins.

The kitchen offers only one dessert option, so it’s well that it’s a good one. The deep-fried apple pie, which is called the Mighty Sweet Club, came in elegant little diamonds and with a lightly crispy exterior that brought my meal to a nice and not overpoweringly sweet end.

Too many chain restaurants treat the humble chicken wing as mystery meat on a stick. By placing this part front and center, Mighty Chick DFW gives you a wing experience that you won’t get anywhere else.

 

Mighty Chick DFW
Onion rings $4.49
Wings (6) $8.99
Hot chicken salad $8.99
Mighty Sweet Club $3.99

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