Sonoma Market's Fried Chicken
- Melanie Wong
Last week I finally had a chance to try Sonoma Market's take-out fried chicken. I was in the store around 5pm and the hot box was fully loaded with separate piles for each type of part (breasts, wings, thighs/drumsticks, drummettes). I'm a dark meat fan, so I went for a drumstick and a thigh. The prices marked for breasts and drummettes seemed a little high to me, so it was a pleasant surprise to get to the check out stand and learn that the thighs/drumsticks are a dollar less a pound, $3.89/lb. Since the raw thighs in the poultry case are $2.99/lb., this was a pretty good deal for ready-to-eat cooked weight. I was also happy that the cashier at the uncrowded espresso bar nearby has a scale for weighables avoiding a wait in a long check-out line.
Wanting to try the chicken hot and fresh at its best, I bit into the thigh as soon as I was back in the car. The breading varies from just a dusting to a crunchy, almost hard layer in some areas. Seasoned simply and very juicy while hot, it's easy to like and can beat out a lot of fancier competitors. Refrigerated and reheated in the oven the next day, the drumstick and especially the breading held up better than almost any fried chicken with little change in character or quality. Good stuff.
Haven't tried it, but I understand the same chicken is available at Glen Ellen Market, the sister store.
Melanie, this is one of our favorites after many many tastes of others (from Popeyes, both spicy and regular to Perry's and Cozmo's in Marina). We can never wait to get an excuse to hit Sonoma Market for their chicken (and salad bar is excellent as well--esp. the broccoli salad) for a picnic lunch. Have also tried outside barbque, but haven't found anything to be succulent and moist--so the chicken is always our choice!