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Apr 29, 2008 06:42 PM

Where to buy small organic whole chickens

Have lots of trouble finding whole organic chicken - 3.5 lbs or smaller.

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  1. loveb--the last time I looked at the org. chix at safeway, the smallest were about 3.75-4, and if you make a request to whole fds they might reserve you some. (I'm usually looking for the biggest 'uns, which rarely go above 5).

    2 Replies
    1. re: moto

      You have a challenge ahead of you. My significant other was in the organic poultry business for many years, so I asked him. He said, most organic poultry companies would lose money to produce and attempt to sell such a small bird, so you will have a hard time finding it in Safeway, Whole Foods, etc... He suggested you go to a smaller provider,.a small organic you would find at a local farmer's market.

      Good luck to you!

      1. re: wineaux73

        thanks wineaux, you confirmed what I'd assumed about cost-effectiveness and why there wasn't a large range in the sizes of 100's of chickens I've browsed through.

    2. The Chavez Supermarkets often have the Fulton Valley Organic Chickens. They've been available for $1.40/lb; Costco has a NY brand for $1.99/lb. The Chavez birds are available individually and the Costco ones come two to a pack.

      Chavez Markets are in Hayward, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Sunnyvale and San Jose.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Ericruo

        That's a great price. Canyon Market in Glen Park has Fulton Valley chickens raw and cooked for $3 a pound. You can also get parts.

        1. re: Ericruo

          The regular price at Chavez Supermarket for Fulton Valley chickens is $1.99/lb. Still a decent price, but I get mine at Bi-Rite, because I live close by, for $2.79/lb. I think all of the chickens hover around 3 to 3.5 lbs and they seem readily available.

          The Bi-Rite folks told me that Zuni uses Fulton Valley chickens in their famous roasted chicken preparation.

          ETA: Avedano's in Bernal Heights often has Mary's, and I think Bi-Rite does too.

          1. re: Atomica

            It is in fact the Zuni chicken preparation as outlined in the cookbook that prompted me to start hunting for small/young chickens, the size of the chicken being a key element in the recipe. Now I only use chickens (3.5 lbs or less) regardless of the preparation. I find them to be more tender and flavorful. I now avoid buying parts because most seem to come from larger birds. I buy the smaller ones and cut up myself.

            This is what promped me to start this topic. I am now armed with many more places to get the smaller birds. Thanks to all.

            1. re: lovebitessf

              I just checked out the Mary's chicken in two different stores. Lowest weight 3.8. Yes, the smaller birds have more flavor.

            2. re: Atomica

              The Fulton Valley chickens are also called out on the menu at Delfina. I've been quite happy with the roasted ones at Canyon, perhaps because they don't cost any more than the raw birds.

          2. Not necessarily organic, but free-range and sustainably raised chickens of a smaller size from Petaluma Poultry can be found in Chinatown markets. PP, if you don't know it, is the producer of the pioneering "Rocky the Range Chicken" and was the first poultry producer in the US to produce organic chickens. Chinese recipes for various "white-cooked" chicken preparations usually specify a 1 Kg chicken (2.2 lbs.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Xiao Yang

              Xiao, would you mind recommending a market in Chinatown ?


            2. Down here in Orange County I have seen / bought them at Whole Foods. Also cornish game 'hens' which are just slightly smaller. But I wonder if you couldn't order them?

              1. Have you checked with marin Sun Farms at the FB farmers market (they have a website as well). I know their chickens are seasonal, but they have young chickens...

                3 Replies
                1. re: jsaimd

                  Marin Sun rarely has chickens under 3.5 pounds. As one who is continually on a search for small chickens, it is an uphill battle. There is a producer of chickens in the petaluma area that sells "cornish game hens". They are actually small chickens rather than some separate breed but they are about 1.5-2 lbs. They will occasionally show up at whole foods along with the rocky chickens. I have had mixed luck with chickens in Oakland Chinatown.

                  1. re: wally

                    I bought the largest chicken I could from Marin Sun at last Sunday's Marin farmer's market and it was 3 lbs - they only have small ones this time of year. You have to get there arly too because they sell out. It was absoultely fresh and delicious (you just have to deal with the head and the feet).

                    1. re: Sharon S

                      Agreed - I bought a 3.5 pound and was working hard to find that big of one. I suspect that the OP needs this for the Zuni Roast Chicken recipe. I usually have success with MSF or Golden Gate Meat Company.

                      I am a little loathe to advertise this because they go so quickly, but Prather at the Ferry Building (inside) sells Soul Food Farm Chickens. I can't remember what day they come in, but they sell out quickly. Not totally sure of their size, but it's worth a try. Just call beforehand to see if they have them: 415-391-0420