Poulet des Jardiniers Maraichers opened their doors in 1982 and not much has changed since.  This is the one chicken restaurant my boyfriend and I can’t live without.  They had to close a few years back due to the owner having an illness and we counted the days to the reopening.  Poulet des Jardiniers Maraichers is situated on the south shore, in Laprairie.  It is probably one of the least expensive restaurants you can go to for a high quality rotisserie chicken.  They are open seven days a week from 11:30 to 9:30 and from experience I can tell you they are busy from the very second they open.

If you go there during peak hours, expect the restaurant to have a line up going out the door.  I know that there are a lot of restaurants that have a tiny waiting area so a lineup doesn’t mean much. But this place has a huge waiting area inside the restaurant, as well as an extension on the front of the restaurant therefore you can have a crowd waiting to get in.  Do not get discouraged by the lineup because the staff is on a roll and you never wait long. People don’t go here to lounge around, they come to eat and leave.

They make only two mains and they make them right, chicken and ribs, sorry vegetarians this is probably not the place for you.  If you are a meat lover and enjoy well prepared food this is the place for you.  Now don’t go to this restaurant looking for a 5 star decor, you won’t find it…it has not been renovated since I was a kid.  You don’t go to this restaurant for the ‘happening’ ambiance…there isn’t one.  But you will find efficient service, cordial staff, the best chicken you can find, an inexpensive bill, and a consistent product.

This is one of the few places where you can say that your memory of the food is as good at its reality.  The chicken, fries, gravy, and slaw are EXACTLY the same as when I would eat there as a five year old, now that is what I call a reliable meal.

Here is how I would describe the food:

The chicken: It must be brined because it is extremely moist and has that gorgeous smoky pink color you can only get from brining. I am not talking about pink and bloody on the bone for all you scared undercooked chicken people out there.  I am talking about when the outside flesh gets this hue of pink almost blush-like which the sign of a good brined chicken.

The chicken skin: The fat has completely rendered out of the skin, so much so that it is as trasluscent as stained glass.  The skin is no longer fatty but has become salty sticky goodness freckled with the spices on the outside.

The BBQ sauce: is one of the best I have ever had, it isn’t salty like all those chain brands who think salt means flavor.  This BBQ sauce is perfectly acid and sweet and with the tinniest bit of heat which is barely detectable.  It has the perfect consistency – not so loose that it is liquidy but also not so thick that your fries could stand up in it.  The texture of the sauce allows you to have just enough sauce coat your chicken or fries when you dunk them into it. You can taste your sauce and your ingredients in harmony neither gets overpowered and masked by the other.

The fries: These are REAL fries, hand cut and deeply golden brown. Perfectly cooked on the inside and out.   These fries you want to eat until there is none left, they serve you so many of them that there is always left overs to enjoy.  None of those frozen chain restaurant fries in site which are almost always cold and pasty on the inside.

The slaw: They make one and only slaw, a simple vinegar based one.  My boyfriend who will always order a creamy slaw in other places, never complains that he can’t here.  Their slaw is the perfect accompaniement to their chicken.  After all the happy heaviness in the rest of the meal this slaw is spot on what you need to cut through all the richness.  Its bright flavor with a hint of vinegar cleans your palate and makes you want to go back for more of everything.

When we’ve partied too hard on a Saturday and are nursing a hangover and looking to relax on the Sunday….this is our go-to restaurant.  For under 25 bucks tax-in you have a meal for four: 2 breasts, 2 thighs, fries galore, slaw, BBQ sauce, and chargrilled burger buns.  Not only is it a bargain, but it is way better than the rotisserie places near our place.  There are two other rotisseries much closer to our home, but we happily drive the extra 10 minutes to get the real deal chicken meal (no pun intended).