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Jan 5, 2014 11:19 PM

Looking for a whole chicken, complete with head and feet intact


I think this may be more for asian chowhounders. We celebrate chinese folk religion (I never knew that was a religion until a few years ago). For years I thought we were buddhists, then taoists but turns out it's chinese folk religion. We've never really talked about the religious aspects, and things we practice are more cultural (food, offerings).

For ceremonial offerings we always get the whole chicken (within the chinese culture, having the whole chicken including head and feet symbolize a good beginning a good end, it's a philosophy).

Anyways, it's been really hard finding whole chickens intact in Chinatown and really in asian grocers. Long time ago we could get them at Kensington market where they slaughtered them fresh. Now when we get them the necks are all out of tact and sometimes the necks are broken. If anyone is familiar with poultry practices, they say this is the more humane way of slaughtering the chickens but is that true?

Does anyone know where I can find whole chickens like the ones I've described? We get old chickens as opposed to young chickens.

Gone to T&T and other places and it's hard to come by when they aren't all mutilated. I'm guessing the GTA doesn't have alot of buddhists or taoists that celebrate offerings during festivals?

Any help is greatly appreciated.


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  1. T&T...oops missed your last paragraph. Ignore.

    1. No clue where you are in the GTA but Maple Lodge Farms factory outlet might have them, along with Oceans--both far west GTA(Brampton+Miss.).

      1. Grand Fortune Supermarket at market village has a lot of head/feet on poultry. They usually have a lot of fresh game birds too with head/feet attached. Here is their flyer that shows a guniea hen

        T&T should have whole chickens too, usually frozen, but sometimes fresh and not that mutilated...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pigurd

          Thanks for the flyer, will check them out.

          T&T has whole chickens but they are usually frozen and the fresh ones aren't that nice. Looking for chickens that are intact, most of the times the necks are in bad shape because of the machine used to slaughter.

          1. re: flonie

            My mom always get the free run chicken from Grand Fortune with head and feet intact all year round.
            And thanks for letting me know that the religion my grand parents practice is chinese folk religion. I was like you, first thought it's buddhists and then taoists, lol

        2. Have you tried Kensington Poultry on Dundas just west of Spadina?

          4 Replies
          1. re: MissBingBing

            Yes, some of their chickens don't seem that fresh.

            1. re: flonie

              Forgive my religious ignorance, but does a ceremonial offering chicken have to be fresh and in perfect shape?
              Just curious, thanks.

              1. re: porker

                Not in perfect shape, but you don't want something mangled.

                When I say mangled, I mean a broken neck with all the skin torn off.

                You can akin it to going to buy a roast chicken for Christmas eve dinner that your serving for your whole family. Would you want to serve one with all the skin torn up or maybe one of the leg's is dis-jointed on that special occassion? If you could help it, you'd get the best one wouldn't you?

                When I mean fresh, I don't mean breathing a few minutes ago. I'm talking something that looks good. If you wanted to buy a roast for sunday dinner, you'd want a nice looking roast that looked fresh or would you want a discolored one?

                You want something that is presentable so that you are sincere in the food your present in the offering. After the gods have eaten, then man eat.

                Hope that explains it

          2. St Andrews Poultry should be able to supply you with this!

            1 Reply
            1. re: justsayn

              Yep, no luck. There's also a place across the street on Spadina. They occassionally have whole chickens with head and feet but the necks are pretty mutilated and people there aren't very friendly when I'm trying to find a good one.