Chickens as Good as the Ones in France

Why can chicken be so marvelous in France and so uneven (if not frequently crummy) in New York? Bicontinental shopper and cook mtsmnp recently put that question to Gotham Chowhounds. Chicken in France has firm and deeply flavorful meat, which may cling stubbornly to the bone if the bird's been fed well and allowed to run around a bit. "It is a completely, I mean a completely different culinary experience," mtsmnp says.

Fortunately for New Yorkers, the city's best poultry purveyors can nearly match those Gallic birds. The chicken of choice for rrems is Bo Bo Poultry's Chinese heritage breed (pictured), raised upstate and sold at Cheong Hing Meats (a.k.a. Chung Shing Meats) in Chinatown and Bo Bo's Brooklyn shop, among other places. With its generous amount of dark meat, it's the most delicious chicken rrems has ever had.

Other contenders are the Belle Rouge, a French breed from Bresse that Violet Hill Farm sells at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturdays, and the free-range Giannone chickens from Quebec, carried by upmarket grocer Agata & Valentina. "All of these compare very favorably with those I have purchased and cooked in France," rrems says.

Chung Shing Meats [Chinatown]
19 Catherine Street (between E. Broadway and Henry Street), Manhattan
212-571-6224

Bo Bo Poultry [Williamsburg]
1131 Grand Street (near Metropolitan Avenue), Brooklyn
718-417-0016

Violet Hill Farm at Union Square Greenmarket [Union Square]
Broadway and E. 28th Street, Manhattan
No phone available

Agata & Valentina [Upper East Side]
1505 First Avenue (at E. 79th Street), Manhattan
212-452-0690

Agata & Valentina [Greenwich Village]
64 University Place (between 10th and 11th streets), Manhattan
212-452-0690

Discuss: poultry (volailles) in the city area

Image from Bo Bo Poultry