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best chicken for roasting? - manhattan/UWS

goldstt Oct 12, 2008 06:20 PM

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.

  1. c
    chocolatebirthdaycake Oct 13, 2008 06:57 AM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake
      bnemes3343 Oct 22, 2008 07:24 AM

      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. Miss Needle Oct 13, 2008 02:41 PM

      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
        chocolatebirthdaycake Oct 14, 2008 07:51 AM

        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
          Miss Needle Oct 14, 2008 11:12 AM

          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
            Ryan Goldschlager Oct 14, 2008 11:55 AM

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

            1. re: Ryan Goldschlager
              Miss Needle Oct 14, 2008 12:56 PM

              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.


              1. re: Miss Needle
                goldstt Oct 19, 2008 06:26 AM

                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
                  mlotek Oct 20, 2008 11:47 AM

                  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
                    goldstt Oct 22, 2008 07:20 AM

                    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
                      paulraphael Oct 28, 2008 05:00 PM

                      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.

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