Welcome to our list of favorite dining destinations in New York's Hudson Valley and Adirondack regions. We visit restaurants, wineries, barbecues, and a smattering of off the beaten path culinary destinations like maple sugar shacks and fromageries. My friends and I have been dining out together weekly for over twenty years. The locations we write about are our favorite destinations. We are not claiming they are the best, just our favorites. The posts are not "reviews" in the classic sense. - we offer only our picks, not pans. We will leave the criticism to others. We are a happy blog. We much prefer a good bistro to "haute cuisine", especially if they also have a nice bar. We prefer a crock of cassoulet and a bottle of Beaujolais to just about anything else. If you enjoy simple home style rustic cooking with a decent (but not too expensive) bottle of wine, then pull up a chair and join us.

This Month's "Well Said!"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

Ferran Andria

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In Praise of the Chicken "Oyster"

A post about chicken oysters is probably something that you would expect to find on Mr. Dave's blog Ridiculous Food Society of Upstate New York. Mr. Dave can always be counted on to focus our attention on some previously unheralded culinary treasure, like Deep Fried Hot Dogs or Stewart's Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream. I have been waiting for him to write a post about chicken oysters, but since nothing has been forthcoming, I decided to tackle this on my own.

You may not be aware of the chicken oyster, which any professional chef, if pressed, would tell you is the most succulent piece of any roast chicken. Each chicken has two, about as big as your thumb, situated athwart the backbone, just forward of the thigh bone connection. They are neither white meat nor dark, but somewhere in between. During the roasting process they sit bubbling in the pan juices, absorbing said juices and chicken fat and whatever herbs and spices you have basted the chicken with. 
This is the Chicken "Oyster"
The two tiny morsels are too small to present as part of a dinner plate, so most chefs will save them to entice whichever dining room waitstaff they are hitting on that month, or pop them in their mouth when no one is looking. I have never seen them offered on a restaurant menu, until last year on a trip to New York and a visit to Daniel Boulud's db Bistro Moderne. The Executive Chef, Laurent Kalkotour, had used them as the supporting player in a dish of escargot, but for me the chicken oysters were the star of the plate. Sauteed with snails and button mushrooms, the dish was served in a puddle of parsley black garlic consomme, and topped with crostini spread with a schmear of roasted beef bone marrow.  
db Bistro Moderne's Escargot with Chicken "Oysters",
Mushrooms and Marrow Spread Crostini

This dish raised all of these bistro "peasant classics" to a collectively inspired dish which I have added to my Top Ten Life List of Best Dishes. I am unable to return to db Bistro without ordering this dish, which is available as an appetizer or as an entree (or both!)  

1 comment:

llcwine said...

best part of the bird...second best are the wing tips...if not over cooked!!!