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Aug 10, 2010 07:52 AM

ISO high quality, free range chicken in OC....


I am looking to buy a good, high quality free range chicken. I would like to cook Thomas Keller's simple roast chicken.

I have roasted chickens before (using Marcella Hazan's simple technique) and have gotten good results.

However, I know that a good quality, free range chicken will make a difference, especially in a recipe as simple as Mr. Keller's.

So, can you please recommend a good place to buy such a chicken?

Preferably in North Orange County (I live in Garden Grove) - but I am willing to drive if need be.



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  1. My go to spot for ingredients like this is always Bristol Farms. There is one at the District in Tustin, at Barranca and Jamboree. I don't know if there is one closer to you.

    I assume you are making the Ad Hoc recipe. I have not done it myself , but there was an interesting article in Slate about putting his version against the Pioneer Woman Cookbook version. Now, she did make a full meal, salad, biscuits, chicken, mashed potatoes and cake, but...

    "By the time the meal was on the table, I had gone through 36 cooking vessels over three days. That compares unfavorably with Drummond's demands of two days and 17 vessels.

    I was prepared to hold this against Keller until I tasted the chicken. The crust was crispy and light; the meat was firm and juicy, seasoned through to the bone. I looked around the table for confirmation that this here was some life-changing fried chicken.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ocshooter

      I think you mean Whole foods at District. There is no Bristol Farm at District.

      1. re: mrsjoujou

        Yep, my bad. No wonder I couldn't find it. Still, it has good poultry.

        1. re: ocshooter

          ...not necessarily. The last time I bought chicken breasts at Whole Foods, the meat was stringey, ropey, and tough. And these were Mary's organic, air-chilled chicken breasts at premium prices. I am more often than not disappointed by the Tustin Whole Foods meats, poultry and fish, given their prices and stated mission.

    2. OC Poultry and Rotisserie, on Ball Road and State College Blvd. behind the carwash. Organic, pastured chickens from Chino Hills, $1.99 a pound for hens and $9 each for roosters (two days' notice required to buy a rooster). The chickens are excellent quality, and you should make a point of getting a chicken banh mi or xoi ga (sticky rice with fried shallots and shredded roast chicken) while you're there.

      I use these for Marcella Hazan's excellent chicken with two lemons recipe and they are wonderful.

      Also, eggs from these hens are $3.29 per flat of 20.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I think you can also find chickens at the farmers market with Lily Egg vendors even though they mainly see eggs. However, I've never tried them myself so I can't comment on how good those chickens are.

        1. re: hobbess

          They are very expensive for what they are. Not tons of meat on the bones. Not that I need some Frankenchicken but when I'm paying $12-$15 for a chicken I want it to feed more than three people.

      2. Some of the highest quality poultry around is available from Rainbow Ranch Farms They have a CSA so that you get periodic deliveries. It's an option that works well for me. They also offer pastured beef shares and will raise a pig for you of simllarly high quality.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stuffed

          Thank you for this info! I am new to the area and this is exactly the type of poultry producer I wanted to find.

        2. The original comment has been removed