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Smart Chicken


Abra
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Smart Chicken Sausage: Also delicious. Doesn't dry out when grilled, unlike other chicken sausages- even the casing stays tender.

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

-Nigel Slater

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Hopefully we'll hear back from the vertical chicken tasting person. 

No luck at the Key Foods in Pleasantville, which is the closest place that the website says has the Smart Chickens. I've been looking around at other towns as much as I can, but am not having any luck there, either. And I really don't want to order quantity from the website, just for tasting purposes.

Any other ideas are welcome --

-Fabster

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Doesn't say free range (on their website) so I assume they are factory farmed

You piqued my curiousity!

from http://www.smartchicken.com/diet.html

We are dedicated to the welfare of our birds and keep each bird healthy and stress-free.  All birds are given access to the natural outdoor environment on our free range with plenty of access to fresh air, sunlight and clean water.  We practice sustainable agriculture to ensure the preservation of our environment.

Looks like I will be heading to Super Target of all places :raz: to try one of these out next month when we're back in Colorado.

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Woodman's Grocery Stores, Wisconsin. Organic $2.89#, regular $1.79#. Purchased two regular and cut them up for buttermilk, lard fried old fashiioned chicken. Heaven! Tasted like chickens used to taste. The Outpost Coop in Milwaukee has the Organic at $3.99#! I passed. -Dick

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So if I want to try some of this chicken, I will have to head out to the nearest Safeway^WGenuardi's.

The Genuardi family wanted no part of union labor and therefore built no stores within the Philadelphia city limits. Safeway management so far has stuck to this policy. :angry:

However: Whole Foods Markets stores in this area (and quite possibly chainwide) carry Bell & Evans chicken, which is produced in Pennsylvania :smile: and also air-chilled.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I ran into Smart Chicken earlier this year and gave it a try when I did a chicken dish for the braising class in eGCI here. I am particularly partial to the boneless skinless thighs. I do a lot of braised chicken dishes.

I don't think I have seen the "organic" version here and probably wouldn't pay the extra price for it if I did. I don't remember the exact price but I do know that I wouldn't have paid a lot more . . . some more but not a lot.

It was the air chilling bit that caught my eye. Now, I don't know this for a fact but I have always thought that the water chilling was a bad idea. As you might guess, I am concerned about the contamination issues but I also don't know the details of the process that may have addressed that problem. I have just always wondered about the effect on the chicken itself. I kind of think of water chilling as "reverse brining." I have no data to back up that assumption. It just seems to make sense.

Hmmmm . . . That makes me wonder. Many have reported on the effects of brining and there is a sense that brining has the most impact on chicken. Some have reported that they don't get what all the fuss is about. Maybe those folks aren't using our crappy water chilled chicken that really benefits from the brining process.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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So if I want to try some of this chicken, I will have to head out to the nearest Safeway^WGenuardi's.

There's really no point if you live in Philly, you have Bell & Evans and the Reading Terminal guys. But around here before this brand arrived, if you wanted organic you were stuck with frozen.

Oh, ours came out very well. Not that much better than the frozen stuff I was getting, but the convenience of it makes the biggest difference.

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So you all convinced me, and I went out and bought myself my own Smart Chicken from my local supermarket. I paid close to 2 bucks per lb for mine. I got the vegetarian diet one.

IMG_1749.jpg

I prepared it using America's Test Kitchen's recipe for chicken under a brick (mine was under a cast iron skillet with a pot of water in it). I'm thinking it's a combination of both the recipe as well as the quality of chicken that honestly made it the best chicken I've ever eaten at home. The recipe doesn't call for any sort of brining, you just spatchcock your bird, season the outside, and let it pan sear in a nonstick skillet for 25 minutes. Then you flip it, baste it with a garlic/oil/lemon juice/hot pepper flakes mixture and bake it atop a bed of cut up potatoes and finish it in the oven for 15 minutes.

IMG_1753.jpg

I've eaten my share of Bell and Evans chickens, and I definitely think they've got some competition with Smart Chicken.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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So you all convinced me, and I went out and bought myself my own Smart Chicken from my local supermarket. [...]

"...Thank You for Shopping at Genuardi's."

Then the parent reveals itself with the Web site address.

I'm surprised they let that slip through.

Back to the main topic:

So, how do they compare to Bell & Evans pricewise?

(I guess I could probably answer this question myself next time I'm in Whole Foods, but I'm lazy, and for the time being, Whole Foods is not in my regular grocery shopping rotation.)

Edited by MarketStEl (log)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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So you all convinced me, and I went out and bought myself my own Smart Chicken from my local supermarket. I paid close to 2 bucks per lb for mine.  I got the vegetarian diet one.

IMG_1749.jpg

I prepared it using America's Test Kitchen's recipe for chicken under a brick (mine was under a cast iron skillet with a pot of water in it).  I'm thinking it's a combination of both the recipe as well as the quality of chicken that honestly made it the best chicken I've ever eaten at home.  The recipe doesn't call for any sort of brining, you just spatchcock your bird, season the outside, and let it pan sear in a nonstick skillet for 25 minutes.  Then you flip it, baste it with a garlic/oil/lemon juice/hot pepper flakes mixture and bake it atop a bed of cut up potatoes and finish it in the oven for 15 minutes.

IMG_1753.jpg

I've eaten my share of Bell and Evans chickens, and I definitely think they've got some competition with Smart Chicken.

Thanks for including the photos in your post. Yum, now I'm convinced to do some research ahead and travel however far I have to, to buy one of these babies. I saw on their web site that they are sold in some Publix in the Orlando area.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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I just roasted my first whole Smart Chicken. (I have used the parts before.)

About ten days ago, I did an ordinary grocery store chicken. Just out of curiosity, I decided trying to kosher the thing following the instructions on the Morton box. I did a fairly usual seasoning thing with lemon, olive oil and a mix of herbs. I decided that koshering didn't do a lot for me and that I will go back to brining.

For purposes of comparison, I decided to do today's Smart Chicken bare bones, no brining or koshering. I did use the same seasoning.

Well folks . . . Smart Chicken wins. By a mile. The flavor, texture and the juiciness quotient are right up there with downright excellent. The only thing I would do is go back to brining, for the flavor, not texture and juiciness. I do like the slight saltiness throughout the meat. If you don't care about that, forget it and just plop that brainy clucker in the pan.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Inspired by this thread I bought a Smart Chicken yesterday and grilled it a la ellencho. I let the thigh temp. get up to 168F and took the bird off the grill to rest for 10 minutes.

The breast meat was juicy as were the thighs and there was no hint of wet cardboard like most supermarket chickens. I would make this my bird of choice from the market now. And, at about $2.69 per lb., not very expensive to feed four.

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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  • 2 weeks later...

No smart chicken around here (Charleston WV), but I found that a store in North Dakota (home state) carried them, so I thought I would try one when I went home for vacation last week. Drove 1400 miles anticipating the best chicken of my life. Got to the store (which I had to make a special trip for...100 miles from my parent's house)...and they were OUT OF SMART CHICKEN!!! I wasn't going to make that 200 mile roundtrip again, so I will have to wait until the next out of town excursion to pick one up. Damn. Sorry, just had to vent.

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I like the price and flavor of Smart Chicken. For the taste and texture they are a bargain. BUT! what's up with the best part being cut off in whole birds? I am talking about the chef's reward, the tail/butt piece. I love it when roasting a whole chicken, but it seems that the SC I buy (the trussed ones) have that part removed. Anyone else encountered this?

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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...BUT! what's up with the best part being cut off in whole birds? I am talking about the chef's reward, the tail/butt piece. I love it when roasting a whole chicken, but it seems that the SC I buy (the trussed ones) have that part removed. Anyone else encountered this?

Elie

Maybe they don't want any smartass chickens. :shock::raz:

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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...BUT! what's up with the best part being cut off in whole birds? I am talking about the chef's reward, the tail/butt piece. I love it when roasting a whole chicken, but it seems that the SC I buy (the trussed ones) have that part removed. Anyone else encountered this?

Elie

Maybe they don't want any smartass chickens. :shock::raz:

OK . . . There is my GulleyLaugh for the day. Now that I think of it, I don't remember about my chicken. But I don't think it had the "Pope's Nose." (I love that term. I learned it from my in-laws in New Orleans.)

What I want to know is . . . If they cut them off, what do they do with them?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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...BUT! what's up with the best part being cut off in whole birds? I am talking about the chef's reward, the tail/butt piece. I love it when roasting a whole chicken, but it seems that the SC I buy (the trussed ones) have that part removed. Anyone else encountered this?

Elie

Maybe they don't want any smartass chickens. :shock::raz:

OK . . . There is my GulleyLaugh for the day. Now that I think of it, I don't remember about my chicken. But I don't think it had the "Pope's Nose." (I love that term. I learned it from my in-laws in New Orleans.)

What I want to know is . . . If they cut them off, what do they do with them?

McDonald's makes chicken nuggets with them. No wait, that would make the nuggets edible. Nevermind.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Sold around here in what's called an ethnic market. Lotsa good stuff to be found in them.

Edited by winesonoma (log)

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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  • 1 month later...

gallery_13038_1496_69987.jpg

I forgot to post here two or three weeks ago. We finally found Smart Chicken. It is sold in some Publix stores, but not any close to us. I sent Russ to a Publix that is about an hour away; it was listed on the Smart Chicken site as carrying them. He got two -- one we had whole, and one later in the same week fixed in some way cut into parts. It really is good, and so is the broth made from the remains.

One of the best parts was the story Russ told about the cashier when he checked out. She said "Smart Chicken.... They must really be smart to get you to pay that much for 'em."

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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If it weren't for this thread, I never would have bought a Smart Chicken. Never. Dumb name. And I don't buy meat from Dominick's. Especially chicken. Because supermarket chicken tastes spongy. :angry:

And now I'm singing a different tune. Because Smart Chicken is way better than the chicken I buy from Whole Foods.

The first thing that impressed me was how clean that little napkin-y thing was that the chicken rests on. Sure, there was a bit of pink but most of it was white.

I had a bunch of herbs in the fridge so I decided to put them to use. I chopped up oregano, sage and thyme. Ground up some fennel seeds. Added some salt. Mixed it all into most of a stick of softened butter. Put about half of that under the skin. Put more on the outside of the bird. Reserved some for later. Threw some herbs into the cavity. At some point I salted the bird inside and out.

I roasted the chicken in a 350 degree oven. Halfway through I added some quartered onions. Later I added about a head of peeled garlic cloves. I basted the bird now and then.

In the meantime we made basmati rice. And chopped a bunch of dill. Because we had been inspired by a rice dish Madhur Jaffrey made with Julia Child.

When the bird was done, we made a sauce. The pan had a lot of liquid on the bottom. I cooked it down with a cup of homemade chicken broth and a couple glugs of dry vermouth. I poured it into my gravy separator and poured off the fat. Put the liquid back in the pan and thickened it with the last of the herb butter and some flour.

I'm drooling just thinking about this dinner. That was the best chicken I have ever made. Hands down.

My husband rarely eats the skin. Because he thinks it's rubbery. I talked him into trying the skin. And he loved it.

The onions still had a bit of crunch. Perfect. The garlic cloves were just soft enough. The fresh dill on the basmati was delightful. But the chicken. Man. It tasted like chicken. :wub:

I am totally sold on Smart Chicken.

- kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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gallery_13038_1496_69987.jpg

I forgot to post here two or three weeks ago.  We finally found Smart Chicken.  It is sold in some Publix stores, but not any close to us.  I sent Russ to a Publix that is about an hour away; it was listed on the Smart Chicken site as carrying them.  He got two -- one we had whole, and one later in the same week fixed in some way cut into parts.  It really is good, and so is the broth made from the remains.

One of the best parts was the story Russ told about the cashier when he checked out.  She said "Smart Chicken....  They must really be smart to get you to pay that much for 'em."

Of course they are smart, they make chicken that tastes good and does NOT cost a fortune.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I can smell it from here. It's definitely roast chicken tomorrow.

I throw in whole, unpeeled onions at the beginning and unpeeled garlic cloves halfway through. The peels seem to add flavor, and it keeps the outside layers from scorching.

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