Carnivore’s Guide: Chicken

America's most popular meat

By Allison Austin Scheff

December 10, 2010

With crisp, golden skin, succulent breasts and intensely flavored, juicy legs, it’s no wonder that chicken is America’s most popular meat. Here’s the scoop on where to find the best-tasting birds in the city.

Try it out: Our favorite restaurant chicken dishes

Roasted chicken (pictured): We’ve long been fans of chef Matt Fortner’s uncanny ability to roast the superlative chicken—silken breasts, juicy legs and exquisite skin that melts on the tongue—since his days on the line at the old Belltown Marjorie. At How to Cook a Wolf, chef Fortner again works his magic with a smaller, more flavorful poussin ($16 for half a bird).

Chicken wings: The meaty, smoke-licked chicken wings ($9) emerge from the wood oven at Palace Kitchen artfully arranged over a pool of coriander cream. Each moist morsel tears from the bone with a satisfying tug—it’s your classic Super Bowl favorite, all grown up.
Indian chicken dish: Spice Route in Bellevue is renowned for its chicken chettinad ($12.50), a southern Indian classic that’s fragrant with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, cumin and a host of other spices. Slightly creamy from coconut and punched up by the acidity in tomatoes, this is one intriguing dish that’s miles away from your standard curry.

Fried chicken: Ezell’s is a recognized Parthenon of Fried Goodness here in Seattle, and for good reason. The original batter-dipped chicken is crunch-aliciously crisp, and the spicy version has a pleasant kick that won’t have you mopping your brow ($15.65 for an eight-piece meal with four rolls).

Chicken feet (For an  exotic taste):
Beyond shrimp dumplings and shu mai at dim sum places are more esoteric items, such as chicken feet. The fried feet at Harbor City in the International District ($2 per dish) are marinated in a combination of sugar, garlic, ginger, soy, oyster and black bean sauces before being steamed until tender.

Best Rotisserie Chickens
We scoured the markets for the plumpest, juiciest, best-tasting rotisserie chickens—a staple weekday meal in many a busy household.

Best supermarket free-range rotisserie chicken: Metropolitan Market sells free-range rotisserie chickens rubbed with plenty of dried herbs; always hot and ready for a quick weeknight meal ($10 each).

Best supermarket rotisserie chicken: Costco’s robust rotisserie chickens are a dinnertime fixture of many on-the-go families, and you won’t find anything easier on the wallet ($5 for a 3-pound bird).

Published November 2010

More articles from our Meat issue
Carnivore’s Guide: Bacon!
Carnivore’s Guide: A Burger for every budget
Carnivore’s Guide: Charcuterie
Carnivore’s Guide: Chicken
Carnivore’s Guide: Duck, Turkey, and Goose
Carnivore’s Guide: Game: Venison, Elk, Wild Boar
Carnivore’s Guide: Lamb
Carnivore’s Guide: The Meatless Meats
Carnivore’s Guide: Offal
Carnivore’s Guide: Pork
Carnivore’s Guide: Sausages
Carnivore’s Guide: The Steakhouses
Carnivore’s Guide: The Art of Butchering
Carnivore’s Guide: Butcher Shops and Meat Markets
Carnivore’s Guide: The Seattle Meat Directory