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THE BEST: Rotisserie Chicken


jogoode
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This thread was inspired by Julia Moskin's great article for the Times last week on New York's best rotisserie chickens. Here's her list of the best.

Flor de Mayo (Peruvian) was the near-universal favorite at our tasting. A few of our favorite chickens:

CARAVAN CHICKEN, 3501 Broadway, Astoria, Queens; (718) 545-3980.

EAST SIDE POULTRY, 1522 First Avenue (79th Street); (212) 288-7777.

FLOR DE MAYO, 484 Amsterdam Avenue (83rd Street); (212) 787-3388; and 2651 Broadway (100th Street); (212) 663-5520.

LOS POLLITOS, 148 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn (Douglass Street); (718) 623-9152.

OLLIE'S, 200 West 44th Street; (212) 921-5988; and other Manhattan locations.

PICNIC, 2665 Broadway (101st Street); (212) 222-8222.

PIO PIO, 1746 First Avenue (91st Street); (212) 426-5800; and 84-13 Northern Boulevard, Jackson Heights, Queens; (718) 426-1010.

POLLOS A LA BRASA MARIO, 81-01 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens; (718) 639-5555; and other Queens locations.

TARTARE, 653 Ninth Avenue (45th Street); (212) 333-5300.

TROPICAL GRILL, 2145 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard (127th Street); (212) 531-0233.

Tonight for dinner I went to Flor de Mayo, a Peruvian-Spanish-Chinese restaurant that I never would have tried had I not read the article. It looks a little too upscale to have good cheap Spanish and Latin stuff, and I'm not typically interested in the Egg Foo Young de Pollo thing. But I'm glad I went. For under $10, I got a whole roast chicken with uncommonly moist flesh and great skin. I couldn't quite place the skin's flavor, but it tasted vaguely Chinese -- five spice powder, perhaps? Either way, it was excellent. I ordered black beans (great!), yellow rice, and maduros -- more than enough food for my girlfriend and I -- and the check came to $16.67.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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Yes, Flor de Mayo is really good (and cheap!) I agree it is very moist rotisserie chicken. I'll ask next time what the spice is. Another is El Malecon on Amsterdam and 97th. I'm sorry they didn't make the list. Their chicken is also a contender.

I live around the corner from the one on Broadway between 100 and 101 and Picnic is on the next block. Their chicken is next on my agenda. Thanks for the list.

By the way, if you liked Flor de Mayo, they have lots of interesting dishes. On the menu they are under the Peruvian section.

Emma Peel

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Yes, Flor de Mayo is really good (and cheap!)  I agree it is very moist rotisserie chicken.  I'll ask next time what the spice is.  Another is El Malecon on Amsterdam and 97th. I'm sorry they didn't make the list.  Their chicken is also a contender.

I live around the corner from the one on Broadway between 100 and 101  and Picnic is on the next block.  Their chicken is next on my agenda.  Thanks for the list.

I think Moskin mentioned Malecon in the body of the article. I live nearby as well and was headed toward Picnic to try its chicken -- and perhaps a burger if they had one (they didn't) -- but thought it was too expensive for my purpose tonight. Then I decided between Malecon and Flor de Mayo. A rotisserie chicken trifecta!

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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if you are looking for some chicken downtown (tho everytime i'm uptown i too head for flor de mayo)...

Musette: 3rd ave and 19th street...little french take out place with dynamite chicken (they sell it with yummy stuffing from day old baguettes, rasins and green olives, and fantastic potatos or grilled vegies) I guess its a bit of a neighborhood secret...

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It's interesting that the article contains two references to Costco but no apparent comments on the quality of Costco's rotisserie chickens. Having easily eaten my weight in Costco rotisserie chickens, I'd have been interested to see some tasting notes. I also think several of the New York City supermarket chains -- particularly Pioneer and Gristedes -- do a very good job with rotisserie chicken. I wonder if the Times just considers those to be beneath consideration. The list, as it is, reads less like a real tasting panel report and more like an inventory of the rotisserie chickens that foodies are supposed to like.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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EAST SIDE POULTRY, 1522 First Avenue (79th Street); (212) 288-7777.

Man, I have to be thinking of another place. It can't be the same place. Not that little hole in the wall that looks, to a hungry neighborhood wanderer, like it's going to be a gem, then leaves that wanderer sorely disappointed. Not that place with the dry and flavorless rotiss and the tough and unappetizing fried. Maybe my timing has just been preternaturally bad, but the only thing I ever thought walking out of there was "at least I didn't pay a lot."

So, do I give the joint another try? Or discount the article? East Side Poultry, bah!

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I long ago concluded that the Pollo a la Brasa was better at El Malecon than at Flor de Mayo, and it was cheaper to boot! Since I've never looked back and I probably made this decision over 10 years ago, though, I might not be right anymore. But when I think of rotisserie chicken, I definitely think El Malecon first.

In my neighborhood, Mancora is pretty good.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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...I live nearby as well and was headed toward Picnic to try its chicken -- and perhaps a burger if they had one (they didn't) -- but thought it was too expensive for my purpose tonight. Then I decided between Malecon and Flor de Mayo. A rotisserie chicken trifecta!

I'm glad you didn't make it Picnic, they are closed on Wednesdays and you're right, no burger! Which did you get? Melecon or Flor? What do you think of the two?

Emma Peel

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I long ago concluded that the Pollo a la Brasa was better at El Malecon than at Flor de Mayo...

Pan, I agree with you about El Malecon. The Pollo a la Brasa tastes better. Perhaps Moskin's team noticed that Flor de Mayo's chickens are larger and may have made a better presentation. IMO the El Malecon's chickens seem smaller to me. (But I prefer a smaller chicken.) Just a thought.

Emma Peel

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Presentation at that price point? Sheesh! What garlicky sauce at El Malecon! And the chicken's big enough, as far as I'm concerned. :biggrin:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Does Flor de Mayo or Pio Pio do take-out? I would love to try one at home.

Also, does anyone feel that Chirpin' Chicken belongs in this list? (Char-grilled, not rotisserie, technically).

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Does Flor de Mayo or Pio Pio do take-out?  I would love to try one at home.

Flor de Mayo does one better than that: they deliver.

A chicken, a huge container of rice (try the cilantro rice!) and a big container of flavorful black beans -- more than enough for two, can be delivered to your door for a ridiculously small price. This is one of the best deals in town.

--

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Does Flor de Mayo or Pio Pio do take-out?  I would love to try one at home.

Flor de Mayo does one better than that: they deliver.

A chicken, a huge container of rice (try the cilantro rice!) and a big container of flavorful black beans -- more than enough for two, can be delivered to your door for a ridiculously small price. This is one of the best deals in town.

And their menu says that they deliver for free from 60th Street to 125 Street.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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:raz: Lets all do this at home.. Its chicken.. Try this, it works !!!

4-5 pound chicken. Mix together in a bowl

1) Black pepper coarsley ground

2) Lemon peel, dried and granulated

3) Garlic, dried and granulated

4) Onion, dried and minced

5)Kosher salt

6) Oregano, dried Greek

7) Basil dried.

Mix them all together, equal to about 3 ounces total.

Rub on the chicken, reserve a third and and roast with a rack at 350 for an hour

Raise oven temp to 400 and

Rub on rest of mix and cook until juice runs clear about 15-20 minutes.

Thats the recipe for the takeout that you all covet...

Should cost you $4-$5 per chicken complete

Does Flor de Mayo or Pio Pio do take-out?  I would love to try one at home.

Flor de Mayo does one better than that: they deliver.

A chicken, a huge container of rice (try the cilantro rice!) and a big container of flavorful black beans -- more than enough for two, can be delivered to your door for a ridiculously small price. This is one of the best deals in town.

Edited by AK@Spicehouse (log)
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In my neighborhood, Mancora is pretty good.

In my neighborhood too :wink: (Smith st in brooklyn that is). Peruvian places in NY seem to really know how to prepare their rotisserie chicken well, with a moist and tasty flesh and crispy skin. When i don't feel like cooking, I usually order from mancora a whole chicken with rice and beans, plantain and fried yucca. All for around $15 i think. I'm not too crazy about their ceviches but they also make really good tamales.

edit to correct the price!!

Edited by zeitoun (log)
"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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Peruvian places in NY seem to really know how to prepare their rotisserie chicken well, with a moist and tasty flesh and crispy skin.

This NYT article has created a stir in the BBQ/Roti community; seems difficult to find a recipe for 'Peruvian chicken' - one with soy sauce and bird well 'Jaccarded'...

Here's one recipe...

Any others?

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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Peruvian places in NY seem to really know how to prepare their rotisserie chicken well, with a moist and tasty flesh and crispy skin.

This NYT article has created a stir in the BBQ/Roti community; seems difficult to find a recipe for 'Peruvian chicken' - one with soy sauce and bird well 'Jaccarded'...

Here's one recipe...

Any others?

Interesting, the Newyorkmetro article which featured news of Mancora's Smith St. opening 3 years ago had this to say about their chicken:

It's gotten to the point where you can't think of rotisserie chicken without acknowledging the superiority of the rapidly multiplying-and cheap- Peruvian-style roasted birds marinated in beer  and rubbed with a spice mix more closely guarded than Colonel Sanders's.

I emphasized beer because that is really news to me!!

For those of you who are spanish speakers, there is this really cool website on the history of Peruvian Pollo a la Brasa which also includes recipes.

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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All of the Peruvian chicken recipes I've seen call for a citrus marinade and about 24 hours of marination. I prefer that style to the Caribbean/Hispanic rotisserie chicken style that is a bit more common.

Of those being discussed I have tried only the bird at Pio Pio. It was very good but Pollo Loco, who preceded them in the same UES space, offered what I recall as being a slightly superior bird and quite a bit cheaper. Regrettably, the few places here in Syracuse that offer Hispanic rotisserie chicken are seriously overpriced and the birds are a bit on the dry side.

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I would remove Los Pollitos in Brooklyn and replace it with Coco Roco - about 10 blocks south on 5th ave. Far superior to Los Pollitos in my opinion.

~WBC

I agree. Personally, I don't think Los Pollitos' chicken is anything earth-shattering. I've had chicken like this multiple times, and nothing really makes it stand out.

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...I live nearby as well and was headed toward Picnic to try its chicken -- and perhaps a burger if they had one (they didn't) -- but thought it was too expensive for my purpose tonight. Then I decided between Malecon and Flor de Mayo. A rotisserie chicken trifecta!

I'm glad you didn't make it Picnic, they are closed on Wednesdays and you're right, no burger! Which did you get? Melecon or Flor? What do you think of the two?

Edited to add Picnic is now open 7 days a week. I just had the chicken and it was excellent. San spices, (except salt) it is a french style roast chicken. I asked for them to keep it in the Rotisserie a bit longer for me, and they were exceptionally accommodating. For those who care, it was $13. :huh:

Edited by emmapeel (log)

Emma Peel

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Flor de Mayo does one better than that: they deliver.

A chicken, a huge container of rice (try the cilantro rice!) and a big container of flavorful black beans -- more than enough for two, can be delivered to your door for a ridiculously small price.  This is one of the best deals in town.

Stopped in at Flor de Mayo on Amsterdam and 84th today to get a rotisserie chicken; I was surprised to see that the menu was about 90% Chinese, with an all-Asian staff. The Chinese menu looked like any other UWS Chinese restaurant/takeout. Where did the Peruvians go? :blink:

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The older Flor de Mayo branch is on Broadway near 101 St. Maybe that's where the Peruvians are, but the greater likelihood is that you can't tell who's a Chinese-Peruvian just by looking at them.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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