Anthony Bourdain once famously said that people who order chicken in restaurants are the ones who don’t know what they want. On the contrary, Julia Child wrote in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, “You can always judge the quality of a cook or a restaurant by [their] roast chicken,” and we’re more of a mind to side with Julia on this one. As the weather turns cooler, we turn to the bevy of excellent, seasonal roast chicken dishes you can find in San Francisco, and we picked our five favorites — with one runner-up. We also asked the chefs behind these dishes what their favorites were, besides their own. S.F.’s fine examples of this classic comfort food will go up against the best roast chickens in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and L.A., with a final judgment tomorrow about whose chicken wins.
The ‘poulet vert’ at Marlowe is among our top picks.