The One Reason Why You Should Always Order Whole Roast Chicken at a Restaurant

It’s how the chef really shows off his skills

Yelp/ Jill R.

At New York's The Nomad, roast chicken is presented tableside before being carved. 

It might seem counterintuitive to order chicken at a restaurant; After all, chicken is chicken, and it’s something that we can usually make at home just fine. And while this might be true for say, a chicken breast you see on a menu, there’s one chicken preparation that you should always order if you see it: roast chicken for two.

It’s not easy to roast a whole chicken perfectly, and many chefs really like demonstrating their prowess in the kitchen by putting one on their menu. It’s a subtle challenge to other chefs who have it on their menus: “Try my chicken and see how much better it is than yours.” Many chefs spend months or even years perfecting their roast chicken recipe, and at the restaurants that do it very well, the meat is moist and juicy, the skin is well-seasoned and crispy, and it’s usually one of the hottest items on the menu. In short: Chefs don’t put a whole roast chicken on their menu unless they know it’s going to be very, very good.

In fact, some restaurants are renowned for their roast chicken: Zuni Café in San Francisco, Barbuto and The NoMad in New York, and River Roast in Chicago. So if you see a whole roast chicken on a restaurant’s menu and decide to order it, you most likely won’t be disappointed. 

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