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Jan 21, 2009 06:58 AM

Chicken: Where to you buy it?

Sure, there's chicken everywhere. Not hard to find obviously. I'm curious where people buy chicken on this board. There sure seems to be a lot of thread on beef, but I don't see too many on chicken.

I'm curious about the differences between chicken offered in different places. Maybe some some chicken aficionados can give a bit of a rundown on where to find good chicken, and perhaps more importantly from my perspective (since "good" is subjective) what differences there are in flavors and textures of various sources of chicken locally.


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  1. There are places in Chinatown that sell live chickens and they clean and gut them. There is also a place on Vermont near 8th St that does the same. I believe there is also a place on Virgil just north of 1st on the west side that does the same. I have heard fresh chickens have a stronger flavor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Burger Boy

      Big difference in taste of a freshly killed chicken and what they call fresh chicken in the grocery stores. I wouldn't call it a stronger flavor, it just tastes like a chicken should. You order a whole or half chicken prepared any way you want in a good Chinese restaurant and you'll know if it was a freshly killed chicken or not. If you're ordering something like Kung Pao chicken, most likely their using frozen chicken parts. Hormones or no hormone-free range or not, nothing like the taste of a freshly killed chicken. I don't think its a "stronger flavor".

      There's a live poultry place I go to every now and then on Spring/Ord (next to Family Pastry) and you can get a freshly killed whole chicken or they sell fresh kill chicken parts.

    2. we buy chickens at the Sunday Farmers Market in Hollywood -- they're pricey -- the cheaper guy is 13 bucks a bird -- but they are the best chickens I've tasted anywhere, far better for sure than supermarket, and better even than Whole Foods or Bristol.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JPomer

        I was just going to say the Hollywood farmer's market. It's very pricey but the chicken are fresh and tastes incredibly, especially if you take a bit of time and brine it before cooking.

        1. re: ExtraCheesePlease

          How long do you brine their chickens for?

          1. re: spoggly

            I do for about 3-4 hours. You can do it overnight but I pick up the chicken on Sunday morning. Brine them around 1-2pm and cook them for Sunday dinner (usually just a simple roast with some herbs, butter, olive oil and salt and pepper). Trust me, your eyes will roll to the back of your head in utter happiness. LOL.

        2. re: JPomer

          The cheaper guy is the one on the north side of the market? How much a pound? How big are they usually?

        3. I usually buy my chickens at Sprout Farmer Market, the organic ones. They are not bad at all but a little bit pricey.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Casualis

            for non-organic yellow feather bird, or 土 chicken, or old "aged" hen, all freshly slaughtered:

            Majestic Poultry (East LA)
            450 N Ford Blvd, Los Angeles, CA‎ (323) 261-4313‎

            $6 a bird.

          2. I think good chicken has a bit of a stronger flavor. You'll notice it, but the flavor of your chicken is just one component. What you do with it after can make a big difference.

            Try a dry brine, probably about 1/2 tsp of table salt/lb, plus any herbs/garlic/lemon that you might want to use, and go overnight (or two days!)

            2 Replies
            1. re: jaykayen

              Yes, something akin to the "Zuni Chicken" method. I have tried this a couple of times, and the results have been good, but I've never had the time to give it as much brining/curing as I'd like, which would be anywhere from 48 to 72 hours (I've only done about 36).

              When I'm going a whole bird, I'll buy the Rocky Jr. whole chickens at HOWS markets. They're organic and free-range. I think they run around $2.49/lb, usually between 4-5 lbs.

              1. re: Jack Flash

                aww, the Rocky birds in my Whole Foods are HUGE, like 6 lbs! Since it's just me and my BF, I've never bought one, as even half of a bird would be too much.

            2. A good chicken has tightly-grained flesh with a real poultry flavor. The breast is in proportion to the rest of its body. At the least it should have access to the outdoors and not be caged. At the best it should have access to forage (grass/bugs, etc) and the equipment to enjoy it (no docked beak).

              The tastiest birds are also the healthiest birds. Most of the farmer's markets have good choices. Kendor offers a tasty cage-free option and Health Family Farm's are pastured. Both are available at the Hollywood Farmer's Market and some others. We salt brine ala Zuni and then air dry the skin for two days for the best flavor and crispiest skin.

              Conventional chicken farming is disgusting. The birds are abused and live in filthy disease-ridden cages. They have flabby tasteless flesh and mutant breasts. They taste more like sponges than flesh. Beaks are docked because the birds are under such stress they poke out the eyes of their fellow prisoners. It isn't worth eating.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JudiAU

                Second JudiAU. Gotta let those chickens run around. Most conventionally-raised caged chicken taste like rubber in the U.S.

                One of my favorite things to eat outside the U.S. (especially in less socioeconomically advantaged nations) is chicken, 'cuz it tastes like real chicken.

                1. re: J.L.

                  The best chicken I've had is outside US
                  And often the cheap thing on the menu