Chicken ( raw) for home cooked Roast Chicken, any suggestions?

I wonder why there is no excellent local source for roasting size chicken anymore. For most preparation I like Jidori, that is probably my favorite, but they are really small birds. Sometimes I like a nice BIG roasting chicken, 6 lbs or so which no longer seems to be available at all in the LA area. “Rocky” roasting size chickens used to be available, I think I have bought them at the Wild Oats, before it was converted to Whole Foods, and also at Vincente Market sometimes. Lately there are never any over 5 lbs ish, and when I ask the butcher counter guys are dismissive that such a thing even exists.
I am OK with “natural”, which the Rocky chickens were, and occasionally a Sheltons whole bird will be almost 6 lbs. Organic would be nice, I always prefer a FRESH to frozen. My all time favorite chicken for roasting was a Pollo Real, available in New Mexico, really a tasty tasty bird…
http://www.polloreal.com/#top
I have tried Mary’s free range, and the Belcampo free range, are very lean birds, and under 5 lbs, both tend to be tough if roasted and are probably better for a braised, coq au vin type preparation.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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Try the organic chickens from Sprouts. They have a nice flavor and tend to be on the bigger size.

I personally like Shelton’s chickens as they have great flavor and are smaller in size, optimal for roasting evenly IMO. Shelton’s chickens are similar size to Jidori.

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This may be more appropriate for the Home Cooking board, but to get further information on your question what roasting technique are you using? I favor a mish-mash of Judy Rodgers, http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/zuni-roast-chicken-with-bread-salad; and J. Kenji Lopez Alt’s spatchcocked roast chicken, http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/05/how-to-roast-a-chicken-butterflied-tips.html, both of which feature small birds. Whole Foods Mary’s birds are generally over five pounds. If you want a bigger bird I suggest you contact Jim’s Fallbrook meats and ask them to order it. They are very good about special orders.
Best of luck!

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For larger birds, we go to live kill places. No better birds for roasting or making fried chicken. For "pieces"and everyday cooking we buy organic chicken (Marys from Sprouts). But we frequent Exposition Poultry (on the corner of Expo and Western. Park on Expo just across from the Expo line stop) and Majestic Poultry in Boyle Heights. (The bonus is it being close to La Azteca Tortilleria)

–Dommy!

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It’s funny I have the opposite problem usually! Looking for 2.5-3lb whole chicken almost everything is 4-5 lbs

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Generally those young chickens are cut up into pieces. You can ask the butcher guys at sprouts. They usually use the smaller ones for their rotisserie chickens.

–Dommy!

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I should try Majestic! I see from a YELP review that there are different types of chickens, American, Indian, Silkie… which do you recommend? thx Dommy

So I guess it is a family thing,the "Roast Chicken"that my parents began doing when they spent the first years of their marriage in UK, where a “Sunday Roast” chicken, done with stuffing, gravy etc is traditional. If you go to all that trouble with an only 4-5 lb bird, there will barely be enough for 4 servings, thus the desire for a bigger 6ish lb bird.
Funny, my fav way to roast a little jidori is exactly as you describe, a mashup - spatchcocked/ Zuni recipe.
The reason I ask here , and not Home Cooking, is that I was hoping there might be a secret So Cal local chicken I did not know about…

:+1:

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I understand now. Back in '89 my wife and I were visiting friends in St. Albans and the Sunday dinner was just as you describe. The only chicken I have ever had to rival it was in a little place in Montmartre. So sorry I can’t help you in your quest!

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Once we tried the jidori from A Cut Above Butchershop, my husband refused to eat any other chicken. Maybe get two jidori? For thanksgiving, I always get a capon from Bobs Market in Santa Monica.

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Thank you !! for the Bob’s tip, I go by there all the time, I will try a capon, have never cooked one before.

I did try once the recipe from the River Cottage Meat book, where you slather in butter and herbs, which was very, very good, but I usually follow this recipe, where you put water in the oven as you roast.

This method is also fantastic for cooking pork roast with skin on - makes for super cripsy skin. I follow the recipe for that from the Nordic Cookbook.


more complete recipe but I lose some when I flip upright.

Depends on what we plan to do. The “American” is your standard poultry chicken. So that is what we get for Fried Chicken and roasting. The Indian, is actually a brown chicken, which is a bit leaner and great for a light stock. They also have older hens for richer stock. Silkies I have never tried, but again, it’s a leaner bird and I think used more in Asian Cooking

–Dommy!

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You should start a blog. Such good info in those links! I love chicken and am pretty good at cooking them. But a few of these tips will definitely up my chicken game… so to speak :relaxed:.

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me to. these big birds gross me out. I start wondering “what kind of chickens are these?” lol

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Luluthemag…lol you make a good point…certainly dont want to think too much about what they “do” to those capons. That is why I would like to find a reliable, good practices “local” source such as Pollo Real is local to Santa Fe, but I don’t actually need to know the name of the individual bird,as in the Portlandia skit :slight_smile:
FYI the UK, the term for naturally raised,free range chickens is “higher - welfare” chicken.

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Thank you so very much! You are always so kind and supportive. As far as my starting a blog with my crazy schedule it would have very irregular postings. Just finished working 42 of the last 48 days averaging 13 hour days - not including commute time. Of course I was unemployed for a month-and-a-half this summer. Crazy business.
That said we have to get together soon. The wild strawberries are doing great, and I would love to give you some!

Okay, then no blog. We’re happy to just have you here.

Don’t worry. I know the life of an A.D. But wild strawberries! :strawberry: Yes please!