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Broasted Chicken in SE MI

Broasted chicken done just right is mana from heaven to me.

Unfortunately I have discovered few places that do it just right. Most of the time it seems that the chicken is either not cooked fresh or has no flavor whatsoever.

Finding that perfect combination of crispy, golden, flavorful and succulent-but-yet-not-greasy taste has become a somewhat of a quest for me. Hampering this quest is the fact that I live in the Ann Arbor area. While we have many wonderful local food choices, broasted chicken is not among them.

The only restaurant whose broasted chicken I truly love is The Wishbone in Allen Park. There was one other in the Ann Arbor area (Bennie's) but they are sadly gone. I have tried various others but none have really done it for me like either of those establishments.

Does anyone have a similar Broasted Chicken fetish? What have your experiences been with it in the SE Michigan area. Anywhere that just stands head and shoulders above other places that you can think of?

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  1. I can't say that I am a broasted chicken fan - it is kind of bland to me. However, I have tried tons of it. Have you tried Mr. Chicken in Dearborn Heights? It's on Telegraph - it could be in Detroit.

    If you live in Ypsi, have you tried the Chick Inn ? I have wanted to try it, but am not sure it is broasted. There is also Chicken Shack, which is an east side of Detroit chain. Have you tried that? I think it is probably the best of them.

    9 Replies
    1. re: momskitchen

      Chick Inn and Chicken Shack both have fried chicken (and pretty good at that). There is a new broasted chicken place, as I recall, on E. Michigan Ave. in Ypsi called Nora's. Haven't tried it yet.

      1. re: Jim M

        moms----Exactly my point, Most Broasted chicken *is* bland the way I have seen it done. I was lucky enough to get it at some of the very few places that know how to make it just right, and it was divine!

        Jim--I have tried Nora's and sadly it was one of the bland ones. Good broasted potatoes.....but the chicken itself was just ehhhh......and some of the pieces were dwarfish as well.

        1. re: Jim M

          Jim - Chicken Shack definitely has the so-called "broasted chicken". Check out their website http://www.chickenshack.com/history.html The bottom line is that the chicken is just okay, not great,

          1. re: momskitchen

            Yeah, but look at the menu page. That's fried chicken on there! My personal fast-food weakness is for Chicken Shack chicken. Haven't been to them all, but I don't recall seeing broasted chicken on the menu. I agree this is a little mysterious. Maybe they broast it and then finish it in the fryer. That would explain the specific length of time it takes them to cook it--about seven or eight minutes.

            1. re: Jim M

              OK ... I take it back (edit function ain't workin', y'all). You're right.

              1. re: Jim M

                Broasted chicken is fried (in a pressure fryer) according to the Broaster website (www.broaster.com) and the Chicken Shack website specifically refers to their Broasters. There is also a store locator on the Broaster website. You learn something new every day!

                1. re: mi2ca2mi

                  Yeah, I never realized this until researching it in response to the comment above. Thanks, Moms and mi2ca2mi (I'm another Midwest returnee who lived in CA).

                  1. re: Jim M

                    Where in California did you live? I was in L.A. for 5 years. The main thing I miss is the food, especially Mexican!

                    1. re: mi2ca2mi

                      I lived in downtown Oakland for two years. Yes, although the Mexican food situation here is improving, I do miss being able to roll out at any time of the day or night and get superior huevos rancheros.

                      Ann Arborites, I have an appointment tomorrow out on Ellsworth. I will try the Chicken House if possible and report back.

        2. ( to the tune of the old sixties song " lollipop " - Chicken Shack , Chicken Shack , oh Chicken Chicken Shack . Chicken Shack - " POP " oh Chicken Shack...( Homer Simpson voice ) " Mmmm , grease traps " Seriously though , my wife is from Arkansas , where they know a thing or two about fried chicken . Old frying pan , lard , overnight buttermilk cayenne soak , the whole old school thing . And man is it good . However , even she grudgingly admits that Chicken Shack is her relatively new all-time favorite . I personally don't care for the broasted potatos , but everyone else seems to love them . A little sweet for me , I don't care for the savory sweet thing . I like the skinny french frie s with malt vinegar and salt . They make decent fried fish , too . Not too crazy about the ribs , but I am an admitted pork snob . But oh the chicken ! Lovely , lovely lovely !

          1 Reply
          1. re: GoalieJeff

            I believe Chicken Shack uses a pressurized deep fryer..probably a time saver. Why else would there be a lid on top of the fryer.

          2. I don't even know if I've ever had broasted chicken before. I probably have, but maybe didn't realize it.

            Anyway, a new place, Chicken House, just opened up on Stone School in Ann Arbor south of I-94 in a little strip mall. Their ad in the paper, linked below, touts their broasted chicken heavily.

            It was a former Tio's location. There's a nice little Vietnamese place in there too.

            There are some coupons in the paper this week that you can print off.
            http://shopping.mlive.com/ROP/ads.asp...

            Full disclosure: I work at MLive.com, but not in the sales department.

            Eric Braun

            6 Replies
            1. re: ebraun

              I will be trying Chicken House soon! Thanks for the tip.

              1. re: ebraun

                Well I tried the Chicken House in Ann Arbor and I have to say that I was none too impressed. It was far greasier than well prepared broasted chicken should be. It did not have the perfect puffy kind of coating that is easily separable from the skin, but rather stuck to it, in a manner reminiscent of fried chicken. In fact if you had just told me that the chicken was fried, rather than broasted, I would have believed it. My wife felt ill for quite awhile afterward due to the excessive greasiness. On top of it all the flavoring was fairly bland. On the whole I got the impression that the broasting technology was not being employed properly.

                The "broasted" potatoes were potato wedges with Arby's Curly Fry style seasoning.....they did not resemble or taste like any kind of broasted potato I have had before. They were decent for what they were, but broasted potatoes they were not.

                The mashed potatoes were abyssmal. The worst kind of cardboard sawdusty tasting instant types. Mind you, there are actually some instant potatoes I do not mind at all---this is not a slam against ALL instant potatoes.

                I wish I could have liked this place, due to its proximity to me, but I am afraid that my quest continues. There are some places in South Lyon I will be trying next.

                1. re: RNemes

                  "Mind you, there are actually some instant potatoes I do not mind at all---this is not a slam against ALL instant potatoes."

                  ::does a double-take::

                  What, *seriously*? Honest, and for true?

                  Never in my life, and I mean *ever* in my life, have I had instant potatoes that I've enjoyed. I've eaten them, yes, and some are certainly more edible than others, but there isn't the instant potato invented yet that I "don't mind." I "mind" them *all*! They're an abomination!

                  I hereby go the full monty and slam ALL instant potatoes. I mean, really: what'd those poor potatoes ever do to you to deserve that kind of treatment?

                  Anyway, thanks for the info/review on Chicken House. Doesn't sound like the kind of place I'd stop at now.

                  1. re: boagman

                    I was trying to accentuate that even within the pathetic world of instant mashed potatoes that those served by The Chicken House rate near the bottom. As far as those that I do not mind, well, you would think me a heathen (perhaps moreso than already) if I said which those are......

                    But of course I agree that the best mashed potatoes involve Real potatoes. And some salt, butter and Half and Half. (and IMO, those are the ONLY ingredients needed) I'll go ahead and say that the very best i've ever had were served at The Drake Hotel in Chicago for a Thanksgiving Day brunch. I think I almost exploded that day.......

                    1. re: RNemes

                      Hey, I'll spot you this: you can admit it. You get an "A" for honesty, and that's always appreciated. ;)

                      About the Drake in Chitown, while I've never had the pleasure, a friend of mine has. She attended a wedding of a friend of hers who was basically a top-of-the-line model, getting married to some soccer star, I think. The reception was being held at the Drake.

                      When they arrived, there were people going around with some incredible, wonderful, and absolutely stand-out hors d'oeuvres of all different kinds. Everyone was going gaga over the food, and were totally impressed, eating a ton. Then, of course, they heard something completely unexpected: "We're opening up the dining room...dinner is served!"

                      Everyone, and I mean *everyone*, had assumed that these delicious morsels that they'd been served *were* dinner, and they basically waddled into the dining room, laughing, fully realizing that it was going to be *very* tough to consume more.

                      I can *easily* spot that the Drake knows how to make a great batch of mashed potatoes.

                      BTW, the only substitution I'd make in your ingredients list is 2% milk in lieu of half-and-half. Otherwise, we're absolutely on the same page. Simple is better!

                      1. re: boagman

                        My wife does make them using 2% milk actually. And they are utterly fantastic that way.....

                        As far as the Half and Half is concerned, I was thinking of the All-Out, Guns-Blazing, Heart-Attack-on-a-Plate level of decadence that is evocative to me of The Drake. (Because they must have been using it in those potatoes to give them that extra kick ....) Another way of experiencing this level of sumptuous excess at the Drake is to eat at the Cape Cod Room. I can't conceive of a more "old school" establishment in matters of ingredients as well as decor.

                        That is a wonderful anecdote about the Drake......Somehow I think that at least some of those people did manage to consume more! Maybe alot more.....and oh my, they probably did not feel too good later. But I know it was worth it at the time!

                        Hmmm should we start a thread about Mashed Potatoes. We're on the same page here for sure and I would love to see if we can figure out what restaurants have good mashed in SE Mich......(very few places that I have found)

              2. Have you tried local family-style restaurants? I enjoy Leon's (a small chain of such restaurants in the Detroit area) and other family-style places that have broasted chicken.

                Chick'N'Ribs at Woodward and 1-696 is amazing, too (just north of the Zoo, on Woodward).

                For my money, I will always try any homey place that has it, but love Boneyard's the most.

                1. Penfield up in Peck (Sanilac County, near Lake Huron) used to be great. Went there many a time with my family. But I understand that the place was up for sale, so who knows...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Woodside Al

                    Ooh, I have a broasted chicken fetish too-- We recently moved back after almost 15 years in California and other parts out west. (yes, I miss the taquerias too.)

                    I've had Chicken Shack way too many times I admit. I don't "get" the shack potatoes either. I tried some of the smelt and it was tastier as a side dish. :)

                    I can't wait to try Chick'N'Ribs next time we're at the zoo. And I will try the Boneyard's. That was my mom's favorite rib place about 20 years ago...

                    There's a place called North Shack way up on Dequindre and 21 or 22 mile. Has anyone tried that? They have a drive-thru... handy during rain or snow storms.

                    -Kelly

                    1. re: kellycolorado

                      North Shack is at Dequindre and Hall Rd on SW corner. It's good - comparable to Chicken Shack. I live about half way between the Rochester Chicken Shack and the North Shack. When I get a craving for broasted I usually alternate between the two.