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In search of a really good chicken

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SarahInMinneapolis Apr 26, 2011 10:52 AM

I've tried all the top brands / most expensive brands at the usual suspects (Lunds, Whole Foods, Kowalski's) and still can't find a chicken that tastes like chicken. All are styrofoam with grotesquely over-sized breasts.

Nothing can compare to the chickens my grandmother raised. Anyone know where I can buy good chicken? I'm willing to take a country drive.

Every time I make homemade chicken broth, it's such a disappointment.

  1. b
    Brad Ballinger Apr 26, 2011 11:08 AM

    Midtown Global Market on Lake Street and/or St. Paul farmers' market.

    1. MSPD Apr 26, 2011 11:20 AM

      http://www.highviewpastures.com/pastu...

      1. t
        type2runner Apr 26, 2011 11:30 AM

        MInnesota Grown has a listing of those you can purchase from.

        http://www3.mda.state.mn.us/mngrown/

        Local D'Lish also carries organic, locally produced chicken and meats.
        http://www.localdlish.com/

        1. s
          SarahInMinneapolis Apr 26, 2011 11:53 AM

          Thanks for the suggestions. Should have thought of the MDA MN Grown site, myself. Just browsed it. Can anyone speak to any of the specific farms' chickens? Thanks!

          2 Replies
          1. re: SarahInMinneapolis
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            foreverhungry Apr 26, 2011 12:31 PM

            I've had excellent luck with Kadejan Farms chickens. They've been my preference over the other local chickens I've tried.

            1. re: foreverhungry
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              BigE Apr 27, 2011 06:58 AM

              +1 on Kadejan. They are far and away the best I've had (though I haven't tried many farmer's market offerings).

          2. s
            susanl143 Apr 26, 2011 12:07 PM

            Most chickens today, whether organic or supermarket cheapies, are the same breed -- Cornish Cross. I think they taste like cardboard. I'm too far away from you --NH -- for a country drive but what you want to ask is for a pasture raised, heritage breed chicken. You can put a Cornish Cross on pasture but you can't make it leave the food dish to eat anything else but grain. A heritage breed chicken will eat the grass and the bugs and anything in your garden that it can steal. They also usually are kept weeks longer than the Cornish X, which also helps develop flavor. You'll pay more but they will be worth it. Good luck.

            1 Reply
            1. re: susanl143
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              SarahInMinneapolis Apr 26, 2011 12:15 PM

              Gee, thanks, Susan! I know a lot about gardening but very little about chicken and meat. Your comments are super helpful.

              Interesting fact about the Cornish Cross and that it won't leave the food dish. Will now be looking for heritage breeds that are bug-eatin', thievin' fools.

            2. Foureyes137 Apr 26, 2011 12:08 PM

              We get our Sunday chickens from the Eastside Coop or Clancy's.

              I think both might be Kadejan Farms...either way, they turn out chickeny when roasted.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Foureyes137
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                tart1 Apr 26, 2011 02:03 PM

                Kadejan's website says their chickens are free range, but grain fed.

                1. re: tart1
                  Foureyes137 Apr 26, 2011 04:20 PM

                  Awesome. They taste good, so I do not care what they eat really.

                  1. re: Foureyes137
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                    soupkitten Apr 27, 2011 08:52 AM

                    i also don't have any prob w kadejan. they are very accessible (any co-op) and are used in most of the restaurants in town with a local focus, because of their high quality and consistency. their muscle tone is good and they make good roasts and good stock. i like the heritage breeds and small farm offerings as well, but kadejan is an excellent year round "convenience" chicken you can always pick up at the sto.' can't stand the expensive pseudo-boutique chicken parts at lunds/byerly's & kowalski's. these still come from factory farms, texture & taste like tofu, and are overpackaged and not fresh. i'll pass.

              2. t
                tart1 Apr 26, 2011 02:01 PM

                Eat Wild is a web site that lists farms that raise pastured animals. Besides a listing of all qualifying farms in Minnesota, there is a link for farms that will ship products as well.

                http://www.eatwild.com/products/minne...

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                  steve_in_stpaul Apr 26, 2011 05:25 PM

                  Cooks of Crocus Hill offers shares of many breed-specific animals; their Web site does not currently mention chicken, but it could at times through the year. Ain't cheap, but you'll know what you're getting and it has a provenance. Look under "Crop Shares" despite the non-vegetarian nature.

                  -----
                  Cooks of Crocus Hill
                  3925 W 50th St, Minneapolis, MN 55424

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                    penelopek Apr 27, 2011 12:59 PM

                    We get our meat from this family:

                    http://andersonfarm.us/

                    They are about an hour into Wisconsin, but they make frequent deliveries to the Cities. They also have open houses a couple times a year so you can check out their set up.

                    1. AnneInMpls Apr 27, 2011 10:32 PM

                      I really like the chickens from Callister Farms. I dunno if they're heritage or not, but they sure taste like they've eaten lots of bugs.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: AnneInMpls
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                        getgot211 Apr 28, 2011 01:18 PM

                        +1 for Callister, surprised they weren't mentioned sooner.

                        1. re: getgot211
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                          parkermsp Apr 28, 2011 02:24 PM

                          I agree with the above, regarding Callister. They are grandly tasty. In the first few dishes I ever made with their chickens (available at Seward, where I purchase them if I'm feeling fat in the wallet) my wife and I agreed that there was some secret technique or inadvertent thing I was doing that neither of us could recognize or identify that made the dishes taste so much better than in the past, until after these few times we both realized it was the chicken itself.
                          Not often that a meat ingredient shines that much.
                          So, I vote for Callister.

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