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Roast chicken taste-off report

Chowpatty | May 27, 200405:51 PM

Apologies for the late chicken tasting report, my daughter seems to have hidden the scorecard. Anyway, here goes from memory:
Several Chowhounds convened Sunday with chickens in hand, as well as accompanying side dishes.
Here were the dishes:
ZANKOU chicken with mutabal, hummus and tabbouli;
LOLA'S Peruvian chicken from Glendale with beans and coleslaw as well as potato puffs from Porto's;
TIGEORGES' chicken, cut in pieces with sauce with beans and rice, plaintains and taro fritters,
AMBER'S broasted chicken (not really roasted, but not quite fried, either), with onion rings;
and COSTCO roast chicken, accompanied by nothing. But I did make a apricot/cherry galette for dessert.
It was not a blind tasting, but I have no reason to think the jury was prejudiced in any way. So, Zankou came out at #1, with 29 out of a possible 35 points. It was fairly fresh so it was still moist with a very flavorful skin, and all the sides were excellent.
I think #2 was a tie between Lola's, TiGeorges and Costco. I thought TiGeorges had a nice mildly spicy, tangy flavor, but I don't care for chicken parts swimming in sauce as much as I like ripping pieces cleanly off a well roasted chick. TiGeorges also gets high points for the taro fritters -- no resemblance to anything Chinese, more like a spicy Jamaican hush puppy.
Lola's was a very good bird with a tasty, salty skin. Their coleslaw was also delicious. I inherited the Lola's leftovers, which were still excellent two days later -- something that probably cannot be said of a Zankou chicken. So extra points for longetivity.
Costco was better than I had expected. It certainly wins for value - at $4.99, it was about twice the size of the Zankou, which is what, $7.50? It tasted fine and would be good for a picnic with other dishes, but didn't have any outstanding characteristics of its own.
Amber's came in lowest, perhaps because broasted chicken was not quite what we were expecting, perhaps because it didn't travel all that well from Reseda. However their onion rings were quite toothsome and disappeared faster than any other dish. Several noted that Amber's was certainly less greasy and heavy tasting than fried chicken, and it might be excellent eaten on-or-near site.
Here's the address for Lola's: 230 N Brand Blvd., Glendale.
Thanks to all the chicken-tasters, and our dog thanks you too!

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