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Smart Chicken


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Yesterday I roasted my first Smart Chicken. I'd read about them in the Rosengarten Repot, wherein David described them as the best chickens he'd ever tasted in America, tender, juicy, and delicious. They're air-chilled, with no water immersion, certified organic, humanely "dispatched", and so on.

Our market just started carrying them and last night I stuck one on the rotisserie for a test. Nothing but salt on the skin, no brining, no herbs, no lemon tucked inside, no nada. Just naked Smart Chicken.

One thing's for sure, it's the best chicken skin I've ever had in my life. The skin was perfectly crisp, not stretchy, not flabby, not dried out, just one's fantasy of chicken skin. Normally I manage to refrain from eating the skin, but yesterday, well, let's just say I stole from my husband's plate and leave it at that.

The rest of the chicken was, in fact, incredibly moist and tender, as if it had been brined. It was flavorful, although not overwhelmingly so, but still very yummy. Remember, it was just naked, not a way I'd normally do chicken. This afternoon I'm going to throw a bunch of SC thighs on the smoker and see how they do.

So how about you - tried them yet? What did you think?

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I bought Smart Chicken boneless, skinless breasts a couple of weeks ago. I don't cook much chicken for myself because I'm notorious for overcooking it. True to form, I overcooked it, but...IT WAS STILL GOOD.

I'm never buying Purdue again.

"It is impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you."

-Nigel Slater

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love em love em love em...I too just s&p them and they are fantastic!!!

My favorite way is to cut the whole bird in half and grill; yummy!!

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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Its the name.  I've rotisserized a few and will buy nothing else.  And living as I do in one of the flyover states I'm amazed and pleased that my market carries then.

Can you find these in mainstream supermarkets like Schnucks or Krogers? While I do love to support my local farmer sometimes it would be nice to just decide to have a chicken on a Tuesday night without having to plan a week in advance. It sounds like a great product.

edit: they have a website, but sadly do not supply in our area. Maybe I should start harassing the local groceries, I'm sure there's a market for it -- right now the only specialty chicken I can buy is frozen.

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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Maybe I'm not caculating the prices correctly off their website.

It looks really, really expensive.

How much for a single whole chicken at a supermarket?

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Flour power says above that it is about $5 for a whole hen. That seems really cheap to me -- I assume this is for vegetarian but not necessarily organic? I am stuck buying organic here just to get something that's not purdue, and that runs much higher -- I want to say 2-something per pound.

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I'm curious to know if people notice the difference between a Bell & Evans chicken or a Smart Chicken when roasting. I've been buying B&E birds for years, but my market also carries Smart Chickens. They always get a flirtive glance from me as I make my way down the butcher's case, but I haven't ventured to try one yet.

So, share your experiences!

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In the southeast, they sell them at Harris Teeter and at Earth Fare. A whole chicken runs 2.19/lb for the organic, the conventional is 1.99

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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In the southeast, they sell them at Harris Teeter and at Earth Fare. A whole chicken runs 2.19/lb for the organic, the conventional is 1.99

That's a really good price. I'll have to see what they go for in LA where we tend to pay more for certain products.

Thank you.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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its really weird that there is still watercooling allowed in the slaugthering process. usually you guys are more aware of food security issues than we are in europe. watercooling is banned throughout europe for salmonalla cross contamination reasons. but it is seems also quite weird that you feel the meat is more juicy, because its the watercooling process that makes the birds "juicier" ??!??

toertchen toertchen

patissier chocolatier cafe

cologne, germany

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Blows me away that you can get it at the Key Food store in the next town. I'll try it this weekend, I think, against some Bell & Evans and Murray's. And then maybe the organic chickies from the farm down the road. A vertical chicken-tasting. What a wild life I have!

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Not available near me. :hmmm:

Intersting, because SmartMeat is an engineered frozen steak product that's been trimmed of all fat and "enhanced" by being injected with up to 15% of a cholesterol-free vegetable oil marbling solution. The antithesis of an all-natural product!

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Tonight I smoked naked SC thighs over oak. In a word, fabulous. They were incredibly juicy and moist, took a lovely smoke ring, and were a paragon of chicken-ness.

They are organic, and quite expensive, comparable to other organic chicken on the market. I can't remember the pricing exactly, but I think the whole chicken was about $14. Since I don't find the flavor per se to be startling, I think that I might not necessarily use SC in an application like a stew or braise, where the texture is a bit lost. But for any stand-alone piece of chicken dish, hands down, this is the best I've been able to buy. I used to live where Bell and Evans was available, and I find SC to be way better. With this stuff, there's no need to brine, and that's really amazing.

Edited by Abra (log)
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Whole Smart Chicken is on sale in Houston this week for $1.99 per pound. I hope to sample some Bresse chicken in a few months---because if it is better than Smart Chicken, we're talking poultry heaven. Smart Chicken is easily the best that I have encountered.

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Our local market was carrying these a while back, and I began to buy them. They're fantastic.

I only bought the whole bird, and found it about 50% more in price than a supermarket bird - but still, a bargain for a product this good.

Sadly others didn't agree, because the market has now discontinued them.

One of the things I found when roasting these babies is that they smell "chickenier" than supermarket birds. My whole house smelled wonderful.

The skin is indeed the best part, getting all crispy crackly, but the meat is tender and moist and loaded with flavor.

Highly recommended!!

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My grandma roasted one for dinner when my sister (from Arizona) and I visited earlier this year. It was easy (no trimming required) and tasted divine.

We don't see them in CNY. The closest we come in the supermarkets in Oswego are the Amish chickens, which I like better than Perdue, Tyson, or store brand. But it's getting harder and harder to find whole birds.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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One of the things I found when roasting these babies is that they smell "chickenier" than supermarket birds. My whole house smelled wonderful.

This was an interesting quote to read. . .for this is something that happens sometimes, but not always!, with free-range chickens.

It doesn't happen all the time with the "free-range" "organic" ones that I've bought in the supermarket, though. But it did used to happen each time I had a fresh-killed chicken from the places where one could go (years ago, in NYC and other places) and pick out your live chicken and have it. . .well, made ready for you! :wink: And the taste, a full chicken-y taste was there in these birds too, which again, seems come-and-go with the storebought "organic" "free-range".

Can't wait to find these birds. If they don't carry them in my market (which is always a good possibility! :biggrin:) I think I'm going to hound them till they do!

The price does not seem bad, and certainly its worth it if these things can guarantee a flavorful bird each and every time!

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