VIDEO| Korea's Sinhodeung jangjakgui spins up delicious chicken

VIDEO| Korea's Sinhodeung jangjakgui spins up delicious chicken

by ChiHon Kim
Stripes Korea

A whole glistening chicken rotating on a spit for sale at restaurants and food trucks was once a family meal favorite in Korea. Rotisserie chicken eateries experienced a boom in the 1990s, but soon this tender dish was abandoned for crispy and spicy fried chicken.

These days, you’d be lucky to find a food truck or spot selling rotisserie chicken. I’ve been hesitant to partake since, wondering how good quality could meat rotating before an electric or gas heating unit be?

Sinhodeung Jangjakgui (신호등장작구이), a new restaurant which opened last year in Anseong, has changed my mind!

Owner Gwon-gi brings over 15 years of restaurant experience abroad in Syria and locally in Korea to give the nearly dormant rotisserie chicken entree a fresh spin.

To reach the level of perfection needed for Sinhodeung Jangjakgui’s roasted chicken, the wood-burning rotisserie ovens are preheated for six hours until they reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind, as the restaurant requires ordering food at least one hour in advance.

To get my hands on this juicy meal, I called in my dine-in order two hours ahead. Don’t worry about the language barrier, you can place your order in English by phone! And, in two hours, I was seated at the no-frills restaurant with a neighborhood vibe, ready to experience the end result of what it means to roast a chicken in a wood oven that has been preheating for six hours.

The juicy bird soon arrived on a plate with sides and dipping sauces (17,000 won or about $15.03). Sizzling sounds coming from the plate delighted my ears and the fragrance of the chicken was mouth-watering!

The wood-broiled bird was satisfyingly juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The chicken wasn’t greasy at all, which is great for health-conscious customers and one of the reasons why rotisserie chicken is making its comeback. For a kick, try the wasabi mustard or spicy seasoning they offer.

One of the unique sides served here is the healthy nurungji, a rice dish with jujube, pine nuts, garlic and ginseng overcooked to form a crust. It paired well with the chicken.

Sinhodeung Jangjakgui also offers a spicy rotisserie chicken and grilled chicken skewers for main dishes. Other sides include makguksu buckwheat noodles and Janchi-guksu, also known as banquet noodles, which are noodles served in anchovy stock with soy sauce and veggies.

Gwon-gi’s staff is friendly and the chicken he cooks up is delectable — all great reasons to add this to your must-try restaurant list. I know I’m now a rotisserie chicken fan thanks to this delicious experience!

ADDRESS: 4290-44, Seodong-daero, Gongdo-eup, Anseong-si, Gyeonggi-do (ENG) 경기 안성시 공도읍 서동대로 4290- (KOR) NAVER MAP

HOURS: Weekdays 3 p.m. to midnight, Weekend & holidays noon to midnight.

TEL: 031-651-8255

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