If there is life after death, I’m coming back as a chicken. It will be my penance for the mass amounts of chicken I consume. Let’s face it; chicken is the cheapest and the most versatile of all the proteins. You can bake it, roast it, stew it, fry it, grill it and put it in salads, pot pies, and sandwiches. I particularly like it roasted. Several years ago, my husband bought a “beer can” chicken roaster. It’s not really a beer can, but it’s based on the idea. The chicken stands up as it’s roasting – it looks like it’s going to walk away as soon as you open the oven door. Two or three times a week, we will roast a chicken. It’s always perfect.
Then, like everyone, we just don’t feel like cooking on some days. But what do we want? Roast chicken…natch. Up until recently, I had no idea there was a place to get roasted chicken in Newburgh other than Price Chopper (always over-cooked; sorry, PC). The other day, I was at the bank talking to the manager and asked him where he likes to eat in Newburgh (small-town banks are great for chit-chat). He mentioned several places, but the one that caught my attention was the rostizeria on Mill Street. Rotisserie chicken in Newburgh? I drove like a bat out of hell straight to Mill Street. There on the corner of Mill and West Parmenter was Rostizeria El Gallo Dorado. Oh, yeah!
As soon as I walked in the door, I smelled it. It was the oh-so-familiar blend of seasonings and chicken fat melting on a hot rotisserie. The store looks like a simple deli at first glance: one shelf in the middle, several drink cases along the walls, and three small tables in the back. The cooking is done behind the counter, with the rotisserie in the front window. It’s a spotless little shop owned and operated by Simon and Wilma Gutierrez. Immediately, you can tell they take pride in their store and food.
The trick to rotisserie chicken is to not over-cook it. Duh. If you do, it will go as dry as California is now and taste like the tongue of an old shoe (not that I know what an old-shoe tongue tastes like). Simon and Wilma have this down to perfection. They cook the chickens in small batches. Once they are cooked, they take them off the rotisserie. If they find that they are getting low or anticipate more orders, they will put on another batch of chicken. This constant attention makes for perfectly cooked juicy chicken.
Rostizeria El Gallo Dorado is mostly a take-out place. They have a full menu of Mexican food, plus a few American items (burgers and such). The food is very fresh and made to order. You also can call ahead to pick up after work, so as not to wait. Also, you can order the chicken with or without the sides of rice and beans. Simon’s chunky guacamole and pico de gallo are fantastic. Oh, and the green sauce: fab.
Chicken Pot Pie
There are other possibilities for pre-cooked take out rotisserie chicken – that is, if you want to cook. This recipe is a favorite for the colder months ahead.
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
⅓ cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 T for later
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
4 large carrots peeled, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
4 cups coarsely chopped or shredded chicken meat (1 medium rotisserie chicken from El Gallo Dorado, skin removed)
1½ cups frozen pearl onions, thawed
1½ cups frozen peas, thawed
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-oz. package) thawed in refrigerator
1 large egg, whisked.
Preheat oven to 400°. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, thyme, rosemary and cook, stirring often, until shallot is translucent and golden, about 4 minutes. Add ⅓ cup flour and cook,
whisking constantly, until mixture is lightly golden. 5-7 minutes.
Whisk in broth ½-cupful at a time, incorporating completely before adding more. Whisk in milk.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon, 10–15 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.
Mix in chicken, onions, peas, mushrooms and parsley; season with salt, and pepper.
Transfer mixture to 4 oven safe ramekins. Unfold pastry and gently roll out on a lightly floured work surface just to smooth creases. Cut into 4 squares large enough to cover the ramekins and the ends to drape down. Lightly press pastry to the edge of the ramekins. Brush with egg and make 2 or 3 slits in the pastry with a sharp knife.
Place ramekins on a large baking sheet (to catch any filling that may drip over) and bake until puff pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbling through slits in pastry, 20–25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake until puff pastry is deep golden brown and cooked through, 30–35 minutes longer. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
Rostizeria El Gallo Dorado
53 Mill Street
Newburgh, NY 12550
Sat -Sun 8:00am – 10:00pm