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Paris: favourite takeaway roast chicken?

Whether from a spit outside a butchers', a supermarket, a modest restaurant. Good quality chicken a plus, as well as the roasting, herbs and spicing.

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  1. The best one is from wherever you happen to be at the time...I've never had a truly bad roast chicken anywhere in France. Some better than others, but never bad.

    (probably never from a supermarket, though....)

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842

      I agree; it's probably more important that one select the chicken by product rather than place; we have three rotisseurs within shouting and there are subtle differences,. But in the end, if I'm bushed after a long day, almost any one will do.

    2. You should be able to find a tasty one in your neighborhood. Restaurant-wise, L'Ami Louis famous for theirs, but it's pricy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ChefJune

        Lagatta; my very personal opinion is that L'Ami louis was terrific in 1968 but now is an overpriced relic. Caviat emptor or bring a a trust-funder friend to pay.

        1. re: John Talbott

          I ate at L'Ami Louis not many years after 1968 (ah, youth!) but Parisian friends have told me it is ridiculously expensive now. Thanks.

        2. re: ChefJune

          Unlike John l go to L'Ami Louis three or four times a year. If you can avoid the wine list it is not all that terribly expensive. OTOH l never get the chicken as cooked too much for me regardless of the provenance.

        3. The real trick to take away is to get one that has just become "done". Don't let them give you one that has been overcooked. That is sometimes a problem especially if you get there late.

          1. http://theframedtable.com/wp-content/...

            Wednesday and Sunday, at the Marché Grenelle, in the 15th. Great poulet roti!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: lemarais

              Those look delicious! It is dinnertime and my mouth is now watering.

            2. I agree that every market has a good poulet rôti stand.
              But I don't agree that all poulet rôti stands are equal.
              When in doubt, queue up where the queue is longest. Always.
              And in all the good PR stands, customers come early and "book" a chicken, specifying the pickup time, which means the chicken should be timed for cooked-ness at that precise time and will not be overcooked.
              Therefore, I suggest:
              1. Scout out in your local market the poulet rôti stand with the longest line.
              2. Come back another day, at an earlier hour, and book your chicken, preferably near your meal time, so as to avoid reheating. Leave your name
              3. Do try to get poulet fermier.
              4. At appointed time, get your poulet tattooed with your name.
              5. Don't forget to get a barquette of potatoes that had been roasting in a pan underneath the turning chickens that have been drip-drip-dripping heavenly juice on the said potatoes.

              9 Replies
              1. re: Parigi

                +100 on the potatoes roasted in the drippings. sometimes I let the family eat the chicken and just eat potatoes.

                (and ask for a little extra jus -- they'll ladle it into the bag with the chicken, but don't worry, it won't leak...just the think for the baguette you pick up on the way home/to the park)

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    Not entirely...most of it is just juices.
                    And tasty.
                    And part of a healthy, balanced diet.

                    All things in moderation.

                    1. re: John Talbott

                      one should not go to paris to avoid fat!

                        1. re: Parigi

                          I'm here representing Pinocchio's dilemma -
                          As a physican-scientist I know fat is fat and we Americans are dying because of it much faster than say the Japanese.
                          On the other hand, as a glutton, I had Rodolphe Paquin's lievre royale today (pix posted elsewhere) and while I'll die a day quicker, so be it.

                          1. re: John Talbott

                            just tell yourself that it's chicken fat, so it's higher in oleic acid than most other kinds of animal fat.

                            (not as watertight an argument as with duck fat...but it's close)

                            1. re: John Talbott

                              John - have you read Ebbeling & Ludwig's study published last June in JAMA, or any of Gary Taubes work? Some food for thought, guilt free Lievre Royal - but no potatoes!

                    2. I seem to remember seeing some other things on the chicken spits besides chicken, such as; pork roasts and duck. Was I imagining this or has anyone else noticed the same.

                      The potatoes at the bottom are killer and when they ask if you want drippings added to the bag, how could you say no?

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: BlueOx

                        “ besides chicken, such as; pork roasts and duck. Was I imagining this or has anyone else noticed the same.”

                        You did not hallucinate. Indeed there can be duck, poussin (usually fiendishly good), roast pork, turkey drumbstick.

                        "The potatoes at the bottom are killer and when they ask if you want drippings added to the bag, how could you say no"

                        what i'm sayin.

                        1. re: Parigi

                          All of that, plus pintade (guinea hen) and even quail.

                          The thing is that the non-chicken offerings (usually just ordinaire and fermier) are catch as catch can -- up to the mood of the rotisseur and what's available today, so it's like finding money in the street when you wander across them.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            But one can place special orders, - of quail, poussin, pork roast, anything, - one or two days ahead of time.

                            1. re: Parigi

                              Sure, including Thankgiving turkey which one year he had 30 orders for (and I've only heard English spoken twice in 22 years).

                              1. re: John Talbott

                                The famous Marcel (Devineau) at Marché Saint Quentin with his pedigreed birds also takes orders , and many of them, for holidays.
                                His birds and my Harvard butcher's birds (Boucherie Gourmande, 86 rue du Faubourg St Denis) are what I would cross town for.
                                Havard butcher also has excellent pork roast "kits". The whole thing is seasoned, dressed, tressed. You just throw it in the oven et voilà.

                              2. re: Parigi

                                buying a roast whatever is usually an impulse for us -- if it's planned, I use the rotisserie in my oven at home.

                                I can't be bothered to plan that far ahead on vacation...!

                            2. re: Parigi

                              And some of the North African ones have those always charming lambs' heads, eyes and all...

                              But no pork at Halal or Kosher rôtisseries, of course.

                            3. re: BlueOx

                              "other things on the chicken spits "
                              Well, my chicken guy has always done a variety of chicken types on weekdays and used to do spare-ribs, pork, dinde, merguez, duck, etc on weekends but not only does he seem to carry everytrhing everyday but he now has creamed broccoli, dauphine potatoes and all sort of stuff not spit-cooked but so people can put together a complete dinner without going to any other shop.

                            4. I've gotten a good roast chicken (and the accompanying potatoes) from the boucherie at 123 Rue de Sevres. I don't know the name; it just has a big sign reading "Boucherie" and a green awning. The place has been there for decades; thankfully, the chickens are fresh each day!

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: Jack Flash

                                they're fresh each day at every boucherie.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  A note of caution should be made: sometimes the unsold chickens get roasted on the premises. So not exactly the freshest.

                                  1. re: Ptipois

                                    but "unsold chicken from the prior day" is not the same as "leftover roasted chicken from yesterday".

                                    Hey, I don't always cook a chicken the same day I buy it, either...this is not a deal-breaker.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      Seems logical doesn't it. Cook the chickens at the "sell by date" on the rotisserie and sell them. Why would a good butcher do anything else (and still be in business).

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        It all depends what I'm using it for; for couscous; yesterday's is fine; for guests - I get hot, farm, off the spit.

                                        1. re: John Talbott

                                          For guests, it'd be hot, farm, *label rouge* and out of my oven....

                                        2. re: sunshine842

                                          Let's not play on words. I didn't mean "not cooked on the day of purchase", neither did I mean "on the sell-by date", I meant "not the freshest", which has to be understood for what it means, in spite of its slightly euphemistic value.
                                          Sometimes chickens get roasted that should not be roasted at all.

                                          But I have never seen any orange chickens except at some halal butchers and rotisseries where they are rubbed with a spice mix containing, most likely, paprika. Spigol is mostly used in rice.

                                          1. re: Ptipois

                                            I understood exactly what you meant -- and even put it out there that I don't always cook a chicken the day I buy it, either.

                                            I haven't ever bought a poulet roti that smelled, tasted, or looked even remotely questionable.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              It does happen though, so a little caution is not superfluous.

                                              1. re: Ptipois

                                                This should not be a holy revelation. In my city, there is a law against butchers making corned pork; one needs to have a special license with requisite inspection to do this because in a previous era, questionable pork was put to brine. Then there's the old saying about the manufacture of sausage. There is one shop where I will buy ready-to-bake meatloaf. Theirs is a lot better than what I make, so I stoop to buying it. But from no other shop.

                                                Prepared foods are an easy outlet for perishable product. As in all things, it's caveat emptor. Know your source.

                                  2. I would like to know what is the orange spice or spices used on
                                    on these chickens roasting in Paris?

                                    Thanks

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: debisusan

                                      it shouldn't be orange...my favorite vendor uses butter and salt and pepper and thyme.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        No it is orange. I have had it many times at many places, and it is always orange.

                                        1. re: debisusan

                                          Just a guess, but maybe SPIGOL (saffron-based spice combo that you can buy in supermarkets)...?

                                          1. re: debisusan

                                            Lots of supermarkets use a commercial spice mix (usually also available in the spice section) for their rôtisserie chickens.... ready for the ingredients ? Sel, épices et aromates (piment doux, ail, coriandre, curcuma, romarin, fenouil, fenugrec, basilic, oignons, poivre blanc, piment fort, poivre gris, poivrons), dextrose, exhausteur de goût (glutamate, chapelure de blé), colorant. I suppose the orange-ish colour comes from the piment doux en poudre/ paprika, curcuma/ turmeric or the artificial colouring. Sometimes it's better not to know.

                                            The better rôtisserie chickens that you find in street markets, etc are often rubbed with the vendor's own particular home-made spice mixture. Usually very close to a sort of herbes de provence blend but also sometimes including paprika and a little mustard. In ethnic neighbourhoods, turmeric or the reddish-brown roucou is sometimes used.

                                            1. re: debisusan

                                              wasn't doubting you....just that it *shouldn't* be orange. As in -- why, in a country with so many wonderful spices, would they stoop to something with funky colors?

                                              Even the Auchan and Carrefour chickens aren't orange.

                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                Cooking chicken with paprika is tasty, and will make it an orange color.

                                                1. re: lemarais

                                                  I thank you. I think that this may the secret I was looking for. I am a real foodie, looking to recreate the Paris roti chicken that I very much enjoy every time that I am in Paris.
                                                  I think the answers in this thread are getting off topic.
                                                  I think it is sad when people say I am so tired when I get home that pretty much anything tastes good. I love to cook and I get a second wind when I come home to cook dinner and relax and enjoy it!!

                                                  1. re: debisusan

                                                    Paprika is indeed a good ingredient for cooking chicken, but I have never seen a roast chicken with paprika, or an orange chicken, in Paris. This orange chicken mystery is still intact.
                                                    I wonder if it is a matter of vocab, and what we see as light brown, you recognize as orange?

                                                    1. re: Parigi

                                                      Nope, no doubt orange and I have had it maybe 8 to 10 times
                                                      in all parts of the city too!

                                                      1. re: debisusan

                                                        Out of curiosity, I'd like to track down this orange chicken. Could you give us some addresses? I like psychedelic good food and am very much intrigued.

                                                        1. re: Parigi

                                                          I had it twice this past September. In the Marais, on rue Rambuteau between rue Temple and rue de Renard on the left hand side of the street going towards the Pompidou. I believe the store had a green awning.
                                                          The other time was in the 6th on the way to the Luxembourg Gardens. Not positive on the street. Maybe on rue de Seine and rue de Baci on the right hand side of the street while walking away from the Luxembourg Gardens.
                                                          I will be returning again this September and will report back.

                                                          1. re: debisusan

                                                            The Buci rotisserie is steps north of Grom on rue de Seine.

                                        2. We noticed quite a few vendors selling roast chicken were using canned potatoes....

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                            I'm surprised you're surprised - the rotiserrie places don't do fancy, just spits.

                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                              That's not very smart-- fresh potatoes would be cheaper than canned!!

                                              1. re: lemarais

                                                Canned potatoes need no peeling, no cooking time (you only need to brown them in the chicken juices), and before they're out of the can, keep forever. Not very smart?

                                                  1. re: lemarais

                                                    Probably, but time is money when you do three or four markets a week or open your boucherie-charcuterie on a daily basis.

                                                    It's only rôtisserie chicken, certainly one of the least fancy forms of store-bought prepared foods, so they're not going to start peeling potatoes any time soon.

                                                    Besides, canned or sous-vide potatoes are, all things considered, a pretty good product. They're calibrated too, which makes them suited to rôtisserie use.