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best chicken for roasting? - manhattan/UWS

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ok. my beloved neighborhood butcher shop has gone to the great butcher shop in the sky (Oppenheimers on the UWS, RIP).
I used to go almost every weekend in the fall and winter to pick up a chicken for roasting.
Now i need a new source. Supermarket chicken is tasteless. I haven't found a whole foods or fresh direct kind that i like.
The union sq greenmarket is do-able on some weekends, but not all.
anybody have a great chicken source on the UWS? If it's a REALLY great chicken source, i'll go anywhere.

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  1. Empire Chicken tastes the BEST. We did a taste-test at our ad agency - it won, hands down!

    1 Reply
    1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake

      Agree 100%. You can't get a better chicken than Empire. And as it's koshered, you don't need to brine it. (not sure where you can get it in NY though...)

    2. Have you had the Pollo Rosso chicken at Whole Foods? It's leaner and slightly gamier than other chickens but a lot more flavorful, including Eberly Farm and the other organic brands at Whole Foods.

      After I discovered Bo Bo Chicken, I get almost all of my whole birds Bo Bo. They're free-range, very lean and chock full of flavor. They're also a whole lot cheaper than other free-range/organic chickens. One chicken will cost anywhere from $5 to $8, compared to $12 to $20 at Whole Foods. Unfortunately, the only place I know that carries them in Manhattan is in Chinatown.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        Just my opinion but i once had a game-y tasting bird and I STILL can't get that taste out of my mind - it was just plain awful! Unfortunately, seems a lot of the organic chickens taste this way.

        1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake

          To each his own I guess. I prefer the more flavorful gamey meat. But a lot of people have been conditioned to eat the flavorless factory-farmed chickens. So an "old-fashioned" chicken may taste very strong to some. It's like the whole debate between grain-fed beef and grass-fed beef.

          To the OP -- if you do get the Empire chicken, please keep in mind that it is already brined. I think that also accounts for some people preferring the taste of the Empire.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            Is Bo Bo a company name? Is there a particular place in Chinatown you would recommend? Thanks!

            1. re: Ryan Goldschlager

              Here's the website. You can find names and addresses of the retailers there. There used to be a store on Broome Street but it closed a few months ago. Now, you can get them at the Essex Street Market and a couple of the Chinatown butchers. Oh, it also seems that there's one in Washington Heights as well. There may be a few more places that carry them as I found a store in Queens that weren't listed on the site.

              http://www.bobochicken.com/

              1. re: Miss Needle

                OK...a mini-report from me, the OP.
                I cooked a pollo rosso chicken last night.
                It was quite good - and not too gamey.

                I'd like to try other suggestions (Chinatown's a little too far). Anybody else have a chicken they love for roasting?

                1. re: goldstt

                  I can't say enough about how highly i regard bobo's product...
                  even if chinatown is a trek, you should head out to pick up one of these chickens to try for yourself... On their website they have this page http://www.bobochicken.com/farmfresh.htm where they are building a distribution network outside of ny's chinatowns, I'd reccomend writing to them with your neighborhood info, and seeing if they will distribute near your home... its worth it... these are great chickens.

                  1. re: mlotek

                    ok...i'll make the trek...you've convinced me.
                    I'm also a little squeamish about cutting off the head, but i guess i'll get over that.
                    thanks for the recommendation!

                    1. re: goldstt

                      You might be in luck. Snoop around on the Bo Bo website ... they say they'll make arrangements to drop off birds just for you at a local market (they deliver to restaurants all over the city, so can do this on the way).

                      Great birds, by the way. I just started getting them from Jeffrey's at the essex st. market. They have white plume (basically the same big-breasted breed as the factory birds), and black plume (the more traditional, stronger flavored birds). They also have bluefoot chickents, which i'm dying to try ... these are supposed to be almost as good as the french poulet bresse.