Rare birds: The city’s best roast-chicken dinners
Roast chicken, the classic dinner staple, becomes a crisp-skinned, lusciously juicy event in the hands of Toronto’s clever chefs
1. Dundas Park Kitchen
At Dundas Park Kitchen, Alex Tso fridge-dries the birds for a few hours, then salts the exteriors, and stuffs them with lemons, onions and herbs. He serves them up with whatever’s in season that week, which could be zucchini salad or rosemary-flecked potatoes or baby spinach with chickpeas. Full chicken dinners are only available during a two-and-a-half-hour window on weeknights, so call ahead. Whole chicken with two sides, $30. 2066 Dundas St. W., 647-351-4793.
The focus at Cory Vitiello’s Flock is nothing but rotisserie chicken and salads. The two-and-a-half-pound birds are dry rubbed with kosher salt for ultra-juicy meat; the 10-plus-ingredient side salads, assembled to order, include French-style niçoise and Boho kale. Whole chicken with salad and sides like sweet potatoes with chili-lime salt or steamed acorn squash with spicy yogurt, $29. 330 Adelaide St. W., 647-483-5625.
3. Café Boulud
The kitchen in the recently revamped Café Boulud uses a Rotisol—the Rolls Royce of rotisserie ovens. Chef Sylvain Assié’s poulet à la broche features crumb-stuffed Chantecler chickens seasoned with garlic, thyme and rosemary. Whole chicken, $63; sides like seasonal roasted veg, $9 each. 60 Yorkville Ave., 416-963-6000.
There are plenty of Portuguese churrasqueiras along Dundas West and College, but your best bet for crackle-skinned churrasco chicken is a trip to the Queensway, where the cooks at BPC marinate the birds in garlic, saffron, paprika and sea salt for a day before roasting. Whole chicken with paprika rice and fried potatoes, $19. 942 The Queensway, 416-255-7177.
5. The Chickery
David Adjey’s southern-inspired menu at The Chickery pairs his brined and roasted birds with gravy-soaked collard greens, California slaw, crispy mac and cheese and a pickly potato salad. His formula is so popular that he’s expanding to Dubai and Washington, D.C. Whole chicken with two sides, $25. 130 Spadina Ave., 647-347-2222.