I popped into the new rotisserie chicken shop, The Dirty Bird, the other day and left with a few bags full of goodies. This is chef Erick Harcey’s spot down the alley next to his Upton43 in Linden Hills, his Phase 2 part of the project.
Sharing the restaurant’s kitchen, Dirty Bird is really a pick up joint with a counter, a daily changing menu board on the wall, and a small bench at which you may cop a squat while you wait for your bird. (NOTE: There is also a door to the coming VERY soon Rose Street Patisserie in which you might soon choose to wait.) I decided to run the board.
I got a whole chicken and a half chicken to see how they both shaped up.
Winner winner chicken dinner indeed. This chicken is some of the best rostisserie bird I have picked up, and I pick up plenty of chicken. The skin was not flabby, but just lightly crisped and covered with a dark dirty rub that gave a good kick without being overwhelming. Moreover, it was well seasoned UNDER the skin as these birds were moist and flavorful without a hint of that rubber plasticity that I have found with some market chickens. The half bird was literally just chopped down the center, but remained as tender and juicy as the whole. It's true that these birds are priced a little higher than the supermarket, but for the taste factor I'm ok with that.
I got all the sides, too.
I quite enjoyed the little tubs of goodies, and I thought the options were various enough to make my chicken dinner whatever kind of thing it should be. I really liked the limey shaved cabbage, the wild rice a roni was a curious side that ended up disappearing quickly, and the mashers with gravy (which I almost just drank straight from the carton: true confession) was solid and textbook smooth. The mac 'n' cheese was creamy and tasty, could have used a bit more salt for my taste, but I really dug the little cubes of tangy squash which were the daily hot veg. The three sauces on hand were a bright chimmichuri, and thick and rich white BBQ sauce, and honey mustard which I can't stand, but those who can would like it I'm sure.
There are straight-up eating options to grab-n-go if you're hungry now. The sandwich option I had was a Surly Hell brat, the soup a chicken wild rice, and the salad a truffled chicken salad that was simple, nicely balanced and not fraught with truffle oil. I like them all. As for dessert: good brownie, smooth banana pudding, solid choices which I assume are the basic options to contrast with what Rose Street will be offering.
Overall, I’d have to say at first flush, this is a very good chicken shop. The wait was a bit longer than I would have liked, but I did put in a huge order. I might call ahead next time, but I will for sure be grabbing one of those birds again.