I find that the chickens at farmers markets are always very small. Getting that smug feeling might cost you a pretty penny though. Mary’s chickens and Smart chickens tend to be small. They are sold at Whole Foods (I think) and other “natural” food stores but not only do they steal your giblets, they now steal your wing tips too. You could check their websites and maybe find a location near you.
Yes, sometimes I will get chickens at the Asian markets (though usually I’m there to buy duck) and they are smaller. Also I get the little soup chickens from Spanish markets or the Spanish section of the supermarket, and they are small (no good for roasting since they’re tough as hell, but useful, as advertised, for soup and stock). Mostly I get Bell and Evans or Murrays - I NEVER buy Perdue or Tyson, they are nightmare companies, Tyson especially. It’s not a stiff upper lip boycott for me though - their chickens are overbrined and taste bad, so I’m not even tempted to “cheat.”
Both Bell and Evans and Murray’s come with the giblet bag inside the cavity.
Yeah, I bought a tray or Perdue once because it was on super sale, and it was awful. The worst texture and taste (i.e., lack of any taste). Never again, no matter how cheap they are. I find even the generic supermarket brands can taste better.
Other than Smart Chickens, this is the brand I found at the local market recently that has smaller sized whole chickens. I’ve only started seeing this brand recently. They’ve been on sale a lot, so I’ve been able to snap one up a few times.
Do you guys want smaller chickens simply to finish them in one meal? I actually think larger birds are more convenient since you can have leftovers. Unlike steak, chicken is generally decent for a few days in my eyes.
For me, since I’m cooking for myself most days, yes. Even a 3.5-4lb bird is two meals for me (when you don’t count the weight of the bones). This is usually for recipes that call for bigger cuts of chicken or for roasting. If I just needed chicken meat for a stir fry, then a part would be fine too, but I much prefer buying whole birds for soup and bones. The plus side (aside from faster roasting) is I do find the smaller birds to have more tender meat, but perhaps this is also the quicker cooking times?
The only times I buy bigger birds is when I’m feeding family and friends too.
My own understanding second-hand is that smaller chickens roast more evenly, but I have not tested that view myself.