A stuffed chicken that made my dayWith so many celebrations at this time of year it is comforting to have a day off to do nothing. After a week of parties, I decided to take a Sunday to vegetate.
On such a day the key words for food are “close proximity” and “hassle-free.” I decided on chicken. In Korea, home deliveries of fried chicken are commonplace, but I decided to be discerning and ordered “to-go” from Gourmet Chicken, a chicken restaurant that opened in Daechi-dong, southern Seoul, in early December.
The restaurant’s main dish is stuffed chicken baked inside a steam oven. “We use a German steam oven and cook the chicken for 40 minutes. Because we use steam the meat retains its moisture,” said Kim Chun-ho, the general manager at Gourmet Chicken.
Customers can choose from three kinds of stuffing - bread crumbs, spicy fried rice and a mozzarella cheese risotto. I ordered a chicken stuffed with fried rice ― 15,000 won ($17.20) for a whole bird, 8,000 for a half ― with a broccoli cheese potato (5,000 won). The chicken, even the breast, the part with the least amount of fat that can often taste dry, was juicy and tender. The outer layer of the chicken was crisp, thin and light. The stuffing was satisfactory, although a bit Koreanized with shredded seaweed paper and green onions mixed in. “The spicy fried rice stuffing was developed to suit the tastes of our older Korean customers who are not familiar with risotto or bread stuffing,” said Mr. Kim.
The broccoli cheese potato was good in parts. Mr. Kim said that Gourmet Chicken imports frozen potatoes from Idaho, the prime potato state in the U.S., and they were creamy and soft. However, the cheese was a real disappointment. It tasted like that horrible fake stuff found in spray cans. However, eating the stuffed chicken felt like a weird mix of Thanksgiving and new year rolled into one tasty treat.
Gourmet Chicken is open everyday, from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Take-outs and delivery are available. The nearest subway station is Daechi station, line No. 3, exit 3. For more information, visit www.gourmet-chicken.co.kr or call (02) 539-9697.
by Cho Jae-eun