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roasted chickens in the east bay

sundeck sue Dec 11, 2012 08:13 AM

I want to make a chicken mole for a big party. Cutting corners, I may buy chickens and add shredded meat to the sauce. What are the best places to buy roasted chickens in the East Bay?

The price is right @ Costco, but the sodium/seasoning pitch is not a happiness. Which is to say, I'm interested in a flavorful, moist bird that doesn't break the bank.

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  1. Glencora RE: sundeck sue Dec 11, 2012 09:00 AM

    Colusa Market in Kensington has a very good version. Not always available, so call ahead. Mi Tierra's is ok -- pre-packaged like Costco's and probably the cheapest around. There's also Magnani and Poulet, but I haven't tried either of those in years.

    1. b
      BAnders RE: sundeck sue Dec 11, 2012 09:38 AM

      Ver Brugge on College Ave has roasted chickens daily and also sells the leftover birds the following day in the cold case--not sure but those might be less expensive. I have liked their roast chickens quite a bit, although Berkeley Bowl's are my favorite. But BB's are smaller and I think cost more, so may not meet your needs.

      1. w
        wally RE: sundeck sue Dec 11, 2012 10:04 AM

        Cafe Rouge has a tasty one but herbs under the skin might be odd with mole.

        1. r
          rubadubgdub RE: sundeck sue Dec 11, 2012 10:10 AM

          The ones I've tried are all pretty middling. Costco gets top marks for moistness and price but they are salty. Mi Tierra is probably #2 for me: Rocky but also on the salty side. BB is #3: flabby skin but meat has flavor and isn't dry. The ones I wouldn't recommend are: Whole Foods, Ver Brugge, Magnani--dry meat, little flavor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rubadubgdub
            escargot3 RE: rubadubgdub Dec 11, 2012 11:25 AM

            Also to be avoided (unfortunately) is Smokey J's - way way too salty.

          2. Ruth Lafler RE: sundeck sue Dec 11, 2012 11:24 AM

            How many chickens do you need? Because it seems to me that it's not much more work to roast four chickens (or however many your oven(s) will hold) than it is one, and not much more time consuming than driving somewhere to buy the chickens.

            1. m
              mochimunchie RE: sundeck sue Dec 11, 2012 04:25 PM

              Market Hall in Rockridge. They may seem pricey but are a much bigger bird than Cafe Rouge and taste better. Salt level is just right.

              1. l
                lakemerritter RE: sundeck sue Dec 11, 2012 11:40 PM

                Seconding the Market Hall recommendation. I've had these and Ver Brugge ones a couple of times and the Market Hall ones were better. I don't even try the Whole Foods birds anymore--always really disappointing.

                Now that I've lead with that and everyone has had a chance to fetch their pitchforks and spark their torches... Safeway's roast chickens are pretty tasty and the price is hard to beat. The skin is salty but the rest is fine--seems like it doesn't seep in too much. Leftovers make a great soup. I've bought often from Grand Ave. and Rockridge locations, once in Alameda, and the quality has always been good. Make sure to not grab a herb-seasoned one by accident!

                2 Replies
                1. re: lakemerritter
                  Joel RE: lakemerritter Dec 12, 2012 10:07 AM

                  Safeway has two levels of chickens. The cheaper one is good, better than Costco, about $7 but occasionally on sale for $5. It has a lot of herb seasoning but is not too salty.
                  The more expensive one is called "Open Nature" -- it is less seasoned than the regular one, tastes great. I think it is about $10 but is occasionally on sale.
                  I am a big fan of these birds; they taste better than Whole Foods' and I buy them when they are on sale.

                  1. re: Joel
                    sydthekyd RE: Joel Dec 12, 2012 06:42 PM

                    $5 on Fridays.

                2. escargot3 RE: sundeck sue Dec 12, 2012 12:36 PM

                  I drove past Au Poulet today in Berkeley. I used to enjoy their birds, but it's been a while.

                  Any recent reports?

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