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

HB_Jeff Aug 10, 2010 07:52 AM


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. ocshooter RE: HB_Jeff Aug 10, 2010 10:00 AM

    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
      mrsjoujou RE: ocshooter Aug 10, 2010 10:16 AM

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

      1. re: mrsjoujou
        ocshooter RE: mrsjoujou Aug 10, 2010 03:59 PM

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

        1. re: ocshooter
          JeffSD RE: ocshooter Aug 11, 2010 03:56 PM

          ...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. Das Ubergeek RE: HB_Jeff Aug 10, 2010 10:18 AM

      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
        hobbess RE: Das Ubergeek Aug 11, 2010 12:11 AM

        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
          Das Ubergeek RE: hobbess Aug 11, 2010 02:36 PM

          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. s
        stuffed RE: HB_Jeff Aug 11, 2010 11:18 AM

        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.

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