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.
THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOR SUGGESTIONS!
Some of the highest quality poultry around is available from Rainbow Ranch Farms http://www.rainbowranchfarms.com/. 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.
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.
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.
...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.