ISO best quality fresh whole chickens (+ eggs!)
This is something that has bothered me for awhile. I don't know where to get good chicken (fresh/unfrozen, whole) in Montreal, and as someone who cooks roast chicken 4+ times a month, I guess I'm looking for tips on where to find the best birds in the city. I'm willing to travel and to pay for this.
Does anyone know of any shops that carry rare or heritage breed (chicken is something that can be extremely variable based on breed, in my experience), free range (allowed to munch on bugs etc.) chickens?
I would also appreciate advice on finding very fresh eggs - back home in BC our neighbour had chickens and we would get them still warm from being in the chicken, and I have never had better.
Btw, I am in Little Italy.
For conventional chickens try Pont Couvert Brand or Zinmans. For organic/natural/no anti-biotics (a bit more pricey) go with chickens at St Vincent Butcher or try as Maximillien said, Les Produits St ANtoine sold at the SE corner.
As for eggs, my recent discovery is Les Fermes Valens eggs. Do we know what the latest is with the egg stand guys at the market? La Capitaine sells Nutri-Ouef eggs that are factory produced what about the other egg guys at the market, does anyone know with certainty that they are direct from a farm, I gather not.
The guys at Zinman are very helpful and the quality of their meats are very good although at the end of the day most of the product is still from mass produced factory farms ie. their Alberta beef.
Check this past thread as well about eggs.
Great info, as usual. Despite a lurking presence on this board, I still don't feel I know my way around even my own neighbourhood when it comes to getting my hands on certain food items. For reference, I am not in any way strict about organic/free range/antibiotic free - I have just found that in meats/eggs, these DO taste better. If there was a battery produced non-fresh, non-organic egg that tasted like the ones I remember from home, I'd probably buy them!
Re: eggs. Does anyone know anything about the law in Montreal re: raising urban chickens? I have a friend in London (UK) who has one of these: http://www.omlet.co.uk/products_servi... + 2 chickens, and he has super fresh eggs on hand all the time, as well as something to bribe the neighbours with if needs be. :) Someone in the linked thread mentioned wanting to find local producers who were working on a very small/household scale and who may be selling off their extras - that would be perfect for me, too, because even if urban chickens are legally OK here, I live on the grassless 3rd floor. I will, however, check out the vendors mentioned. I'm no foodie but eggs are one thing I feel I could tell a good 'un from a not-so-good 'un.
I will also check out the chicken vendors mentioned - thanks again, because I wouldnt know where to start looking on my own. A good, proper roast chicken is heaven and I've been without since I moved here (own fault!).
Btw, what is a CSA? It is mentioned in the other thread, I'm assuming it is some kind of produce delivery service? Does anyone have any updated recs on a CSA that delivers poultry and/or eggs?
Community Supported Agriculture. It's where you buy a "share" in a farm in advance of the season and then receive weekly "baskets" of food - mostly fruit & vegetable but sometimes meat & eggs - from a local farm. Most CSAs in Montreal are included in the Equiterre database:
Some CSAs also sell extra produce to the public on certain days/spots.
Changes of the bylaw on urban chickens will most likely be arrondissement by arrondissement - I know ours, Rosemont - La-Petite-Patrie had been discussing a change. I don't know about Villeray, just north of the market.
I speak Italian, but have never heard of people who speak only French or English having problems being served at Zinman's. I believe they speak some Spanish as well.
Yes, Fernando (also a former Zinman's) has very good poultry, including chicken, turkey and duck sausages. Funny how those former Eastern-European Jewish poultrerers have become Italian and Portuguese respectively.
I haven't bought fresh chickens from the place at the southeast corner either (and I also can't remember its name). The rôtisserie chickens are nicely spiced and very good.
I never had any problems being served but I always like to engage in food talk and what the sourcing or breed might be . I have always been well served but would like to know if they know the breeds and the attributes of the chickens. I now live where I can get local Araucana eggs or Dominques and I can see the chickens in their free range habitat they are a very beautiful bird.As for supermarket birds what is available in Montreal is vastly superior to the supermarket I encountered chickens in Chicago. There is no shortage of excellent organic beef in Montreal and a short visit to the Atwater or JTM will attest to its availability but most people's budgets are not flexible enough for $30 chickens and $30 a kilo beef pork or lamb. For people who love to cook Montreal is as good as it gets in a North American city but living on the Vermont Quebec border is to know what fresh local means. Take a drive to Magog one weekend and visit Marche Vegeterienne to understand how inferior even Whole Foods markets are, great food does not translate to mass production.
La Capitaine seems to be more of a re-seller, even though he bills himself as a producer. I recently had the unfortunate experience of buying some Nutri-Oeuff Omega 3 eggs on sale at IGA. Normally I stay away from these as they are overpriced and of little extra nutritional value despite their billing. I found them disgusting. They're ok for frying ok baking, but I'm fond of hard boiled eggs and I found them tasting very "fishy", no doubt due to the fish-based meal they feed the birds. Very pronounced when consumed in hard boiled form, and very unpleasant.
I get my chick from the vendor at the south-east corner of the Jean-Talon market.
Last week (and most of the time) I get a whole chicken from "Les Produits d'Antoine" (http://lesproduitsdantoine.com/)
There's a poultry store, Zinman on St-Dominic, close to the market, i never went in, anyone can help ?
Zinman's is excellent and very reasonably priced. Carry a large selection of chickens, capons and other poultry. The store despite its name is very Italian and they have a wonderful selection of sausages and fresh meats. The staff is very helpful but I always wished I could bring an Italian interpreter with me. Great place to pick up chicken and turkey carcasses for making soup. Super friendly service. The quality is very good to excellent as they supply the restaurant and ethnic market, the products are available on different days so if you are looking for fresh turkey or larger birds call ahead to see which day of the week they will have your product the office staff is also quite pleasant . I have recommended them to many people and use their reusable bags when I shop in my local supermarket.
Nice - thanks for the Zinman's report; I've passed by it many times and always wondered about it.
I got a nice rotisserie chicken once from the poultry place at JTM that Max referred to, but never tried their raw stuff.
I get my whole chickens at Akhavan and have always been happy with them. They're halal, but not free range, heritage or organic.
I also have enjoyed Akhavan chicken and it is my supermarket of choce when I visit Montreal. I think if you ask they might tell you they get their chickens from Zinman's.
Although the Zinman's retail store on St. Dominque is not Halal it does offer the chickens similar to the ones I have purchased at Akhavan. Akhavan's meat is also superb.
I believe Zinman's wholesale arm is much larger than its retail and they may supply organic, free range and kosher in addition to Halal but Zinman's and Akhavan were my poultry suppliers in Montreal.
As for eggs in Montreal I purchased my eggs (duck eggs) from Stairsholme farm in Hemmingford Andrew brought his eggs to market in St Anne de Bellevue and to the Thursday market corner St Joseph and Esplanade.
Marche Jean-Talon, there is a guy who sells fresh eggs. If you want them to still be warm you'd have to go to a farmer. You could:
a) ask the farmer in MJT where his farm is, and drive there directly.
b) Ferme Ste-Dorothe (450) 689-2220
c) Le Panier nature (450) 689-2220 \
Or wait for other chowhounders to chime in, i'm sure there are many options out there.
As for the whole chicken, unfrozen, i don't know where the "best" one is. I don't really cook whole chicken.