Tony On Chickens

I love chickens cooked whole. I love them roasted. I love them grilled. Trussed.
Spatchcocked. As long as they’re in one piece and on the bone, I love them.

What’s better than walking into a house that’s been roasting a chicken? The smell
is intoxicating and immediately makes you salivate, throw off your jacket and head
to the table. And I’m not alone – bunch of you, our diners, feel the same way, and
a whole lotta chefs crave whole roasted  chickens as well.

I know, because I am one and when I hang out with other chefs we often talk about
the brilliance of a well-cooked chicken and how hard it is to find a good one.
This is why we serve one at Craigie on Main — the famous “Chicken for Two”
featured on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. It’s my gold
standard, and grilling a spatchcocked chicken (a bird that has had the backbone
removed and then flattened, otherwise known as butterflied) is also amazing.
I  grill a spatchcocked chicken about once a week at home. We have some for
dinner, some for breakfast, and some  for picking and nibbling all day.

People who think chicken is boring or bland have never had a good chicken.
Factory farmed, poorly fed, expeditiously grown, and poorly slaughtered birds
are indeed insipid, ho-hum, banal and pointless birds. At best, they make an
unremarkable impression on a meal. At worst, they taste like the sorry excuse for
a bird I recently bought at my local supermarket. This poor, offensive,
objectionable and abominable thing was over-brined, over-cooked, over-dry
and had the questionable taste of some metal, perhaps tin.

The problem is that the supermarket gets you because you are already there,
wondering what you’re going to make for dinner;, and for a mere
$10 they lure you in with an already cooked bird that, along with their
embarrassing sides, might fool you as a ready-made dinner to save you time
out of your busy day. Nobody deserves to eat this way. Nobody.

And do you find it interesting that their raw chickens in the case sell for
$15-$25? How do they get you a “cooked” chicken for $10? You actually
don’t want to know but they’re really not too worried about making (or losing)
money on the chicken as it’s part of an already over-priced shopping experience.

Anyhow, I, along with the entire team at The Kirkland Tap & Trotter, would
like to offer you a wonderfully grilled, properly seasoned, moist and juicy chicken
to take home. It comes two seasonal vegetables, one side and a condiment.
I’ll announce the“Bird of the Week” on Sunday for the following week; you can
buy it through our website to save you time.
Simply place your order, tell us about what time you would like to pick it up, and
swing by KTT to pick it up. Your bird will be ready within minutes of your arrival.
It’s plenty for two people but could certainly feed three or four with some other
add ons at home. (Feel free to have a drink at the bar if you’d like –
you are always welcome.)

I thought long and hard about the price. I will never compete with a $5 or $10
rotisserie chicken, not would I want to. My goal is provide a bird that you look
forward to eating every time, that is still succulent and tender, not only
when you get home, but when you pick at it the next day.

I don’t want to sound defensive or get into the argument about how much money
restaurants do (or don’t) charge. Haters gonna hate, as the kids say.
But if you really want to have that discussion, just drop me a line.
We can have a cup of coffee, but I won’t change my chicken.

We’re starting at $25 and we’ll see how it goes. A whole chicken in a
restaurant would easily be double that, and I’m preparing an outstanding,
restaurant-quality chicken at way below market value. I’m doing this because
I feel so strongly about mass cooked rotisserie chickens at a bargain basement
price. As they say “If it looks like a bargain, you probably can’t afford it” or
#realfood #realcooks as the kids might also say.

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