Zankou Chicken has become a well known brand in Los Angeles, and natives clamor to eat the perfectly roasted chicken every day. Since 1962, the business has been run by the same core values. The simplicity of those values, and the incredible value customers get from eating at Zankou are the two major reasons why the restaurant has stayed in business during the recession. Keeping food costs low has always been a major selling point to help reach Hollywood’s vast community of starving artists. In a world full of low cost, unhealthy alternatives, Zankou offers healthy food at a decent cost.
The emphasis on quality is one of the major core values of the Iskendarian family, and of the food they make.
Everything begins when the morning shift comes in. Their job is to make sure the chicken is seasoned and ready for cooking. Whole chickens are placed on rotisserie racks, where they are slow cooked one hour before the store opens for the first rush of the day. The cooking process isn’t a secret, but it does allow for perfectly crispy skin and juicy meat every time.
The staff shifts the racks as the chicken cooks, so the rotisserie heats each chicken evenly. The skin becomes a golden brown, and is somewhat crunchy in texture. The drippings from the cooked chicken fall onto the uncooked counterparts, which adds an extra layer of flavor to every batch.
Tarna, the signature recipe Zankou prides itself on, draws inspiration from shawarma. The meat is roasted on a vertical roaster over several hours, until the customer orders it. Each slice of chicken is seasoned in Mediterranean spices to create something juicy and flavorful.