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Jan 6, 2010 07:16 AM

Brasa (MSP) - Why can't they get the roasted chicken as great as everything else

Jfood is a HUUUUGE fan of Alma and Brasa, but it just baffles him in one respect. Once again jfood needed to work in the hotel so he decided some sandwiches from Brasa would make the evening more better (sic). He ordered pulled pork and BBQ beef sandwiches and could not resist getting a 1/4 chicken as well (the yams somehow made it into the bag as well :-)).

He unpacked when he arrived in his room and grabbed the chicken leg as he washed up. It was really, really good. Then he pulled the chicken out of the container and onto the plate. The first thing he noticed was the portion. The gave him a breast with the bottom half removed, plus his already eaten leg. So they swap a leg for the bottom half of the biggie since jfood had plenty but that would bother him otherwise. Then he cut off and ate a piece of the breat...just dry as can be, once again. Jfood did not even try to eat a second bite.

Now the sandwiches are just so far over the top great, jfood could not care less about the breast in hindsight, but he just does not understand why the genius of Brasa just cannot seem to get a rotisserie chicken cooked right.

Any thoughts or comments?

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  1. I have to agree with you. I prefer to eat dark meat because it's more flavorful and many restaurants overcook the breast meat- but Brasa sometimes overcooks both, even the leg/thigh. So I stick with the pork which is almost always delicious.

    1. I go to Brasa specifically for the chicken (and beans and rice....I miss Rotisseria I guess - I'm braised beef and roasted pork shouldered out, mostly because of them :) ) and have only had issues with moisture 2 or 3 times (out of over 20) and usually always the breast (once the leg was overcooked but the caramelization on the skin made up for it, like chicken candy)

      Maybe having cooked chicken breasts over a few hundred times, maybe I'm a bit more lenient on the moisture content, maybe not - but maybe request a thigh - always my favorite. Or order the picked chicken which is usually always a delight (tossed in one of their sauces)

      I don't know if this is your first time eating the chicken in this form (from Brasa, of course) or not but to say they cannot seem to get a rotisserie chicken cooked right is a bit unfair after one time and for take out. I understand that is I'd imagine the bulk of their business, but I can't imagine they are able to do much for the quality of the chicken once it leaves the building. I do think cutting the breast in half doesn't help one bit (especially if the chicken in question hasn't been properly rested) but there are a million things that could've made your chicken dry. Brasa does a tremendous job on the volume they do at both of their locations. Arguably one of the most popular locally inspired restaurant in the Twin Cities - I'm sure they've cooked one or two chickens properly since they've opened...

      I'm craving it as I type...

      1 Reply
      1. re: vicks

        C'mon know better. And this is not the first chicken for jfood at Brasa. And in that review there were the exact same comments about the chicken and that was an eat-in, not a take-away.

        Jfood loves brasa and will return and bring people there as much as he can. In fact, at dinner last night the subject came up with some colleagues and they were excited about a journey next week. But jfood will NOT recommend the roasted chicken. But jfood will not post a review of what "they might do" versus "what they did". Should people not comment on the quality or doneness of the food? How would it be if jfood had a dried out shank, not once, but twice, at another favorite of jfood's, cafe levain?

        Without some feedback thatthe quality control needs some improvement, no business can get better.


        slightly off topic, but according to Andrew Zimmern you can get them to roast a goat. I'm intrigued.

        1. A good rotisseur has a few tricks up their sleeve. I believe Brasa uses simple gas rotisseries. A common mistake is to take the birds to a temp that is too high. Inexperienced cooks forget that the bird will coast up after removal from the fire, if given time to rest. I believe that they roast ahead at Brasa and reheat. This is not a quality problem in and of itself, but might account for variability.

          Live fire is much more dynamic, and alot easier to screw up frankly, but the finished product can be amazing. There are wood fired, multi spit, systems that rotate on two different levels simultaneously. This is the holy grail of high volume live fire cooking. The rotisseur varies proximity to highest heat and dials in the perfect speed for smoky delicious skin and succulent meat. Set me up with a couple hundred grand and I'll open a tiny rotisserie joint.....

          2 Replies
          1. re: keg

            As long as you promise to open it in St. Paul. ;-).

            Speaking of fantastic and tiny rotisserie joints, has anyone heard anything lately about how the former Rotisseria guy is doing in the Western Suburbs there? (yeah, I know, sorry, I don't remember which suburb. Anything West of Lake Calhoun might as well be Wyoming as far as I know.)


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I think he was selling out of the Minnetonka General Store. haven't heard anything for a long time.

              before he closed the old place he told me he was looking to open a place somewhere on central.