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Nov 14, 2010 05:20 AM

where to buy good quality (uncooked) chicken wings?

We're planning to fry up a large batch of buffalo wings (a la "Buff's") for tonight's Pat's game and to our dismay, just missed Mayflower Poultry, assuming they were open later than 5 on Sat night, they're not open today. Are there any similar places that sell decent quality chicken parts,open on a Sunday, and preferably near somerville or Cambridge? Thanks

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  1. The Market Basket usually has large family packs in the back fridge, by the produce.

    5 Replies
    1. re: smtucker

      Market basket is a decent option but i was hoping to get something a little more natural/fresh if possible....

      1. re: shellicopter

        Perhaps Wilson Farm in Lexington. The chickens are their own. So, the wings are probably fresher than you'd get in a big chain. Plus, while they do not claim that their chickens are free range, at least it is a smaller operation. So the chickens may live a little better than the ones grown on factory farms.

        However, if you do end up willing to buy at MB for the lack of a source of "natural" wings, there may be a better alternative for that sort of thing. The best price for wings in quantity that I have seen is at Costco. The packaging at Costco is nice, too. One unit is 36 wings, divided into 6 individual cryovac pouches of six. So you use what you need, freeze the rest, and can defrost in reasonable increments.

        Wilson Farm
        10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

        1. re: PinchOfSalt

          Actually, Wilson farms no longer sells their own chickens. Numerous requests for information about their chicken-origin and hormone status have gone unanswered. Rumors on chowhound indicate that the chickens are bought from farms in upstate NY.

          The wings options at Market Basket do include a hormone-antibiotic free option.

          1. re: smtucker

            I've never been, but McKinnon's Meats comes recommended here. I was just checking out their website, and noticed wings are on sale this week @ $1.49. Great price! Open Sunday until 5:00.

            239 Elm Street

      2. I have gotten very good party wings from Whole Foods in the past.

        10 Replies
        1. re: rebs

          Me too. They are excellent because they cut them in two pieces. So you get a wing and a drummie. I actually only buy my wings there.

          1. re: cherrytomato

            mayflower poultry is my place of choice. much cheaper than whole foods and, in my view, at least as good quality. roaster wings and fryer wings. whole or separated. pick up some of their amazing super jumbo eggs too.

            1. re: teezeetoo

              Do you know if Mayflower's chicken naturally raised?

              1. re: rebs

                Sorry to be pedantic, but do you realize how meaningless the phrase "naturally raised" is? The USDA definition of natural is as follows:

                "A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed (a process which does not fundamentally alter the raw product) may be labeled natural. The label must explain the use of the term natural (such as - no added colorings or artificial ingredients; minimally processed.)"

                It has no bearing on whether the animal was raised in close confinement, what it was fed, whether received antibiotics or if it ever saw the light of day. I just share this with you because I think it's important to ask the right questions and not be hoodwinked by marketing terms. If the chicken you buy at Whole Foods is labeled naturally raised, it is little different than any other industrially produced meat.

                Rant over. Just saying.

                I, for one, am curious as to where the live poultry that Mayflower kills come from. Does anyone know if they are raised in the region? By whom?

                1. re: celeriac

                  I could have been more specific: Is Mayflower's chicken hormone-free, cage-free, organically-raised, etc? Being on chowhound I just assumed most people would know what I meant.

                  As far as the chicken wings at Whole Foods: the hormone-free wings are delicious and certainly a much more flavorful and less scary looking option than the regular gigantic supermarket packaged wings. I would choose the chicken from my meat CSA over Whole Foods any day, but they don't offer wings and if they did it wouldn't be enough to feed a large group.

                  "thanks" for the rant.

                2. re: rebs

                  Mayflower will tell you their chicken is raised hormone and antibiotic free from a producer in CT. I don't believe they will tell you the exact name, but they are fairly forthcoming with details. They do have some organic and free range options, but I believe only for birds not for their full selection of trimmed parts (party wings, roaster wings....).

                  1. re: itaunas

                    As itaunas says, their "regular" chickens and chicken parts are from hormone and antibiotic free chickens from connecticut. On fridays and saturdays you can get organic fresh-killed chickens which I believe come from a delaware farm live and are butchered at the shop. you can ask them and i find they are pretty straightforward.

                    1. re: teezeetoo

                      There is very little "good" chicken. Mostly all of it is raised in a barbaric, sadist way. Beaks are burned off, they spend their short lives in a space roughly the size of a unfolded paper napkin. They are pumped full of antibiotics while they are alive and soaked in fecal water after they are dead so that their weight is increased by the absorbed water. Asking for good chicken is laughable.

                        1. re: baldbert

                          Yes, factory chickens live miserable existences, but there ARE "good" chickens out there. You can buy them, but you also have to be willing and able to pay the farmer enough to make it worthwhile to raise them. I sleep well knowing how the chickens from my meat CSA spend their lives.