My question for the group discussion is: what kind of chicken do you use for these applications?
I have wings, and breaded fritters that are all white meat. The chicken I use for the general purposes has been a frozen, marinated, seasoned, pre-cooked “fajita strip” of all white meat. The product I used last fall was running me 3.48/lb cooked weight. It had a good price point, and was really versitile. Problem is the price of that product skyrocketed to over $5/lb . . . then discontinued and I had to hop off that train.
I dug around the USFoods database and found several alternatives that included white/dark mixes. I got one of those products, and the taste is great, plus the moistness of the thigh meat makes a more succulent finish. The price is good, but could be better. I am looking into more options.
I just found a precooked, diced chicken product that is mixed wht/drk as well. the price is 50 cents less a pound, and is not seasoned. It wrks great on the pizzas, and is whole muscle chunks in about a 1/2" dice or smaller. Great coverage.Now we have two options for chicken: cooked, and ‘fajita’ style.
This is just for the toppings, pasta and sandwiches portion of our menu. Wings and fingers are different in my shop. Input/feedback/ideas? I am avoiding using raw, fresh chicken as a matter of processing right now.
we have chicken for our pizzas and salads, we also have chicken wings. for the pizza and salad we use fresh skinless boneless chicken and we marinate them in two kinds of salad dressing, we cook it whole in our oven then dice it once it’s cooked. for the tenders we just use a frozen breaded tender that US foods has. Fresh tenders are a little better but more labor intensive, I’d just rather go with the frozen tenders.
Hey Nick,how are ya my friend? I know you said you would rather stay away from raw and for the obvious reasons.I didn’t want to bring raw in my shop either.But I hooked up w/ a local butcher shop and I worked out buying my case of randoms from him and having him dice it up for me.With the diced chic. I would just take back to my shop and weigh it up and bag it for the line.Then we also have him do a case of fileted breast for us that we bread crumb up,bag and then freeze till needed.It may sound like a pain in da butt,but it really isn’t that bad.And you’ll offer fresh chic. breast in all your orders.I have many chic.sand.on my menu so when an order comes in on goes a bag of 8oz.diced chic.and whatever any other ing. are on the grill.
Hope this helps ya, Niccademo
[still pulling dough off da cieling] :lol:
the dced product . . is it pre-cooked diced, or raw diced? I am not totally opposed to the idea of raw, just gotta get ready for it. It is so much more work than what we do now, and will take training the staff to manage it. Not insurmountable, but the training schedule is pretty heavy this month.
I am enthralled by dropping my cost chicken costs, but am not sure what the actual savings would be. I am buying cooked weight @ $3.50 per pound, which would loosely translate into pre-cooked price of about $2.69 (1/3 weight loss in cooking).
It appears that there is a mixture of fresh and pre-cooked places out there. Some are cooking their own and processing, while others are getting pre-prepared products. It is such a hard choice since chicken is a growing popularity item, and cooking it WELL takes some measure of skill and repetition. I’m going to keep this in my “development” folder for continued research and process development. I really appreciate the ongoing discussion here.
I think you may be overestimating my current operation and base cooking skills of my staff
Skill #1 . . . handling raw chicken pieces so as to minimize chance of cross contamination. This will be a new process in our kitchen and pretty different from the wing processes we use.
Skill #2 . . . using something other than a conveyor oven (since we do not have one) to cook the chicken once prepared. Another skill that must really be acquired so as to reduce waste from dry, leathery chicken. Baked skinless chicken (white meat) can be rather bland and rubbery if not handled well.
Neither of these is rocket science, and does not take a culinary genius (someone who has done cooking before helps). It does, however take teaching time and supervision to manage this. Unfortunately, our staff is some “7 month off” hangover in remembering not to put raw chicken tubs on the counter and walk away. We have a ramp-up to get back to baseline . . . then we can add new skills and tasks to the mix.
You are evil, aren’t you. I am straight on using the tenders. I’d actually go for whatever boneless product is cheapest by the pound (white meat being everyone else’s preferred, though).I have a really good handle on the whole process . . . it’s my sometimes short attention spanned staff that would have to do the deeds that I hesitate with.
In ourt place, fresh wings<>fresh tenders. The handling does go a different route since we fry our wings and only handle them to rinse in a colender and put into bins to hold until parfried. It doesn’t sound a lot different, but it really will be a different handling process that will require actual training and supervision. It may be a really quick training . . . or it make take repeated sessions to get the skill.
Either way, it is a new process that will have to wait in line with all the other ideas we have. When we need/want a new idea we pick one and flesh it out. We’ll get there. I’m going slower than some may prefer in getting there, but we will.
Nick, I couldn’t agree more w/patriot. We buy ready to go tenders but we use alot of boneless breast $1.60pd. It comes in pretty clean, just trim very little, marinate with whatever. we put through conveyor on deep sheet pans- about 9-10 mins at 500. Some gets grated on Hobart for chickencheesesteaks and rest is used for gr. chick sands and salads. 200-240 pds per week. I don’t have pros prepping it either, just kids not on drugs. It’s not that involved. After marinating 40 pds fits perfect in bus pan which sits in walk-in until needed.Good Luck. BTW our marinade is oil, cajun spice and garlic.