Jidori Chicken Dances Into The Spotlight

Jidori chicken in Japan
Jidori chicken in Japan Photo: Haseo via Flickr

Apparently Jidori chicken has been living in relative obscurity outside of Los Angeles, but today it gets its due. The New York Times is the next East Coast outlet to give our cuisine and city due regard for diversity before it points out how local chefs like Culina’s Victor Casanova and Lucques’ Suzanne Goin think of this “hyper-local specialty item” as their “favorite chicken.” Found practically everywhere, though BLT Steak, Hatfield’s, and Kokekokko get shouts, L.A.’s Jidori, which roughly means “from the ground,” are raised as cage-and-drug-free vegetarians, mostly on Central Valley farms. After that, the chickens go to Robata-Ya owner Dennis Mao’s plant Downtown–he processes between five and six thousand daily–and are typically served to your table within 12 to 24 hours of being killed. Though many argue that true Jidori needs to come from Japan, Mao’s chickens are starting to spread out across the states in the last year, likely leading to the same mass confusion Kobe beef presents, but hopefully leading to a pro-baller named “Jidori” hitting The Staples Center in the not-so-distant future.

With a Bow to Japan, Jidori Chicken Is the New Kid in the Coop [New York Times]