Category:

Football 101 : The History of Wings and the SuperBowl

January 14th, 2021 by

After the joy of the holidays, the next thing we have to look forward to is the SuperBowl! Whether you watch football or not, SuperBowl Sunday is an opportunity to kick back, relax and eat your favorite foods. And one of the top foods to eat on this day is the famous chicken wing.

Even with 12.5 million pizzas, hundreds of millions of pounds of avocados, four times the normal amount of nachos and 325 million gallons of beer, the most iconic football food is the chicken wing. During SuperBowl weekend, Americans consume about 1.38 billion chicken wings. And it has been like this for decades.

As you prepare for this year’s SuperBowl, take a few minutes to learn about why chicken wings have become a staple on this day. You’ll gain a new appreciation for this tender, flavorful protein!

History of Wings and Why We Eat Them on SuperBowl Sunday

Even though you’ve probably eaten chicken wings practically you’re entire life, this is actually a newer phenomenon. It turns out these wings are less than 50 years old. Before the 1950s, chicken was very expensive and difficult to cook. You had to buy chickens whole, so beef and pork were more popular.

In the 1950s, chicken farming became industrialized, making this meat more affordable. But Americans still weren’t buying it. That’s when the government stepped in and sought out alternative markets, such as by sending whole chickens to Europe. This didn’t work out so well, so in the 1960s and 70s, the bird was able to be traded in bits and pieces.

The white breast meat was widely preferred by Americans, while the dark meat was popular in countries like Mexico and China. Then one day, the Bellissimo family in Buffalo, NY started deep frying wings and coating them with hot sauce. The family began promoting this idea, and by the 1980s, buffalo chicken wings were on many bar menus across the country.

So what’s the link to football? The buffalo chicken wing got lots of coverage during the early 1990s when the Buffalo Bills played in the SuperBowl for four consecutive years. Today, chicken wings are a staple of the SuperBowl experience.

Celebrate SuperBowl with Chicken Wings from La Rosa

Now that SuperBowl is just around the corner, you can start planning your menu! Whether you choose to cook your own wings at home or order them from a chicken restaurant like La Rosa Chicken and Grill, you’ll now have a new appreciation for this tender juicy meat.

How to Find the Right Cut of Chicken?

January 12th, 2021 by

If you were never taught how to find the right cut of chicken, you’re in luck! As chicken experts, we’re going to fill you in on the things to look for when selecting a healthy and tasty cut of protein. Once you know what to look for, you can increase your confidence in the kitchen and churn out more tasty meals.

Learn about the Different Cuts

Chicken is one of the most versatile meats you can cook with. You can eat it plain, add it to soups or casseroles and pick your cooking device – grill, oven, air fryer, roaster, etc. As versatile as this protein is, certain cuts are better than others depending on what you’re making. This is why it helps to know the different parts of the chicken.

  • Chicken breasts are the upper part of the chicken that consist of mostly white meat. You can buy them whole, pre-sliced and with the skin on or off.
  • Chicken thighs are probably the tastiest part of the chicken because they’re so tender and juicy. You can buy them bone in or bone out and with the skin on or off.
  • Chicken wings are cheapest and come on the bone. This dark meat is higher in fat compared to chicken breasts but has delicious rich flavors. Discover three ways to cook chicken wings.
  • Like wings, drumsticks come on the bone and are cheap. They’re perfect for grilling in the summer.
  • If you prefer, you can leave the drumsticks and thighs whole and eat them as legs. Chicken legs taste great on the grill or in the oven.

Check the “Sell By” Date

When you know what type of chicken cut you need for your meal, you can then work on selecting the freshest piece. Pay attention to the “use by” or “sell by” date. Uncooked chicken usually lasts about 1-2 days after you open it. Without opening, the chicken might have a couple of weeks before the sell by date.

Examine the Chicken

Always examine the cut of chicken before purchasing. Without doing this, you could bring home a piece that’s loaded with preservatives or even partially spoiled. Do not buy chicken that smells sour, has a chemical smell or looks yellow or green.

Shop at the Butcher When Possible

Some of the best cuts of meat come from the butcher or local farmer’s market. They’re usually freshest, and you might even be able to verify where the chickens come from and the diets they’re fed. To save money on these higher quality cuts, consider buying whole chickens and cutting them up yourself. This gives you lots of meat to work with, and you can freeze what you don’t use.

Choosing the right cut of chicken is important, as each cut is unique and offers a slightly different flavor and texture. La Rosa Chicken and Grill gives careful thought to our chickens in order to deliver the freshest, most delicious meals! Hopefully our tips will help you become a master chicken chef as well!

Top 5 Catering Foods for Your Next Holiday Party

December 15th, 2020 by

Whether you’re hosting a small gathering or a large office Christmas party, you know the main reason why guests attend is for the food! Rather than preparing everything yourself or asking people to bring meals for a potluck, a better option is to hire a catering service. This is especially important during a pandemic when all food must be handled properly.

Not only does a catering service provide you with a wide selection of top-notch foods and cleanly service, but also it saves you from having to do the work yourself. You can choose your menu based on your budget and accommodate special dietary needs as well. La Rosa Chicken & Grill has a large catering menu with freshly prepared foods using the highest quality ingredients.

Need some direction? Below are five of our top picks for holiday catering.

  1. 1. Chicken Tenders

You can’t go wrong with chicken tenders. They appeal to all ages, especially with all the fun dipping sauces like honey mustard, sweet barbecue and cool ranch. La Rosa offers two convenient options: a 24-piece pan of tenders and a 50-piece pan of tenders. You can mix and match them with our other chicken options for a well-rounded lunch or dinner!

2. Grilled Chicken

Grilled chicken breasts are a great option for health-conscious eaters. La Rosa offers a 5 lb. tray of breasts that are expertly grilled to perfection. They’re slightly charred on top and have juicy insides. Your guests will leave feeling full but without all the calories!

3. Fresh Salads

Salad pairs well with just about all proteins, chicken included. Plus, guests can add the chicken tenders or grilled chicken breasts to their salad if they choose. Otherwise, they can eat the fresh greens on the side.

La Rosa has a great selection of fresh salads that include a Caesar Salad with romaine and shaved parmigiano cheese, a Mediterranean Salad with cucumbers and feta and our signature Gorgonzola Salad that combines dried cranberries, honey roasted walnuts, bacon crumbles and gorgonzola cheese.

4. Side Dishes

People often have a hard time choosing side dishes for their holiday party. They want options that are tasty and filling but easy to eat. And they often want something different than traditional potato salads and pasta salads.

Fortunately, La Rosa makes it easy to choose the perfect catering side dishes. We have half tray sides of rice pilaf, steamed broccoli, tomatoes and cucumbers, mashed potatoes and more. And if you made the choice to invite kids to your holiday event, they’ll love the macaroni and cheese!

5. Cornbread

Tired of the same old loaves of French bread? Cornbread is a wonderful addition to your holiday spread. You can purchase cornbread by the piece from La Rosa, or they’re included in our catering packages. This buttery side compliments our foods perfectly and brings the plate together – fresh chicken, vegetables on the side and a buttery slice of cornbread. Perfection!

If you’re in charge of a holiday party, don’t go it alone! Contact La Rosa Chicken & Grill to learn more about our catering options and how to place an order.

What to Look for in a Healthy Chicken Restaurant?

December 10th, 2020 by

Even if you order something “healthy” off a restaurant menu, it’s likely to be far worse than what you would prepare at home. Restaurant food is fattening because it’s served in large portions and contains added oils, fats, sugar and salt. This is also why restaurant food tastes so good!

Most people love to eat out a couple times a week, but there are ways to do so healthily. The best part is, when you eat at the right chicken restaurant, you don’t have to sacrifice taste for nutrition. You can eat a tasty, filling meal without all the fat and calories. Below are some of the things to look for in a healthy barbecue chicken restaurant.

Grilled Food Options

There’s no question that fried and crispy chicken is tasty and delicious. And having these foods in moderation is okay for most people. However, if you grab lunch or dinner on a regular basis, stick to a chicken restaurant that offers grilled options. Grilled chicken is low in calories and fat and packs in protein and nutrients. When done right, you won’t miss crispy chicken in place of grilled.

Right-sized Portions

Restaurants get to choose their portion sizes and prices, as this is how they compete. After all, people tend to pick restaurants that give them the best value. Unfortunately, large portions make it easy to consume more calories and fat than you need. Instead, look for restaurants that serve healthy portion sizes and an a la carte menu. This way, you can build a meal for yourself and stay within your calorie limit for the day.

Vegetables for Side Dishes

French fries, onion rings and tater tots are the most popular side dishes when it comes to fast food. However, they add lots of calories, fat and carbs onto your meal, and they don’t provide any nutritional value. Instead of pairing your healthy grilled chicken with salty french fries, pick a chicken restaurant that serves vegetables on the side. La Rosa Chicken & Grill has freshly prepared side dishes like mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and fiber-filled black beans.

Fresh, Healthy Ingredients

At La Rosa, we believe that customers deserve to know what’s in their food. Marketing can make foods look healthy when they’re really not. That’s why we recommend looking into the ingredients in your food so that you know what you’re putting into your body. Pick restaurants that are transparent about their ingredients and get them delivered fresh from local sources.

It is possible to eat healthy when dining out. Once you find a few chicken restaurants that you love, you can count on them for dine-in, take out or delivery. You’ll feel good knowing what’s in your food – and you might even have some room for dessert!

Key Elements that Make a Great Chicken Sandwich

November 27th, 2020 by

Bored with your dinners? It’s bound to happen. One of the hardest parts about being an adult is finding something to cook every night! If you have a family, this gets even trickier with all of the preferences and special requests. But there’s one thing that’s bound to please everyone in the family – a chicken sandwich.

Why are Chicken Sandwiches So Popular?

Chicken sandwiches are incredibly popular in America. In 2019, Popeye’s was selling an average of 1,000 chicken sandwiches a day. That is, until they ran out. And the competition is tough. You can find chicken sandwiches at almost every fast food chain, including McDonalds, KFC, Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s and Burger King.

So why are these sandwiches so popular? Partly because they taste like comfort food, especially when you order breaded or fried chicken on a toasty bun. These sandwiches are also filling, inexpensive and lower in fat and calories compared to other fast food options.

We also can’t forget how versatile chicken sandwiches are. You can get your chicken breaded, grilled and/or spicy, then choose your toppings, sauces and bread. With so many options, it’s almost impossible to get tired of a chicken sandwich!

Ingredients Needed for a Delicious Chicken Sandwich

You probably know what’s needed for a chicken sandwich, but let’s take things to the next level and look at all of your options!

Chicken

Always start with high quality chicken. The skin should have a yellowish tint, the meat should be pinkish and there should be no odor. Check the “fresh label” and opt for free-range chicken when possible.

Your options for a chicken sandwich include:

  • Fried or crispy chicken
  • Breaded chicken
  • Grilled chicken
  • Shredded chicken
  • Charbroiled chicken

Bread

The bread you choose will bring your sandwich together. You can’t go wrong here, it just depends on your preferences. Brioche buns are warm and buttery, whereas ciabatta bread is hard and chewy. Other options include pretzel buns, flatbread or sweet buns.

Cheese

Cheese is a great addition to chicken. Some of the best cheeses for chicken sandwiches include mozzarella, gouda, provolone and asiago. You can throw a fresh slice onto your sandwich or melt it for extra goodness.

Toppings

Lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles are standard for chicken sandwiches, but you can definitely shake this up. Spinach or arugula is a tasty alternative to lettuce, while fresh cucumbers can replace dill pickles. Avocados add a ton of flavor, though if you’re looking for flavor, a slice of bacon will do as well!

Sauces

The right sauce will bring your chicken sandwich together. Mayo and mustard are the standards, but there are many other options to try like barbecue sauce, buffalo chicken sauce, pesto, horseradish cream, garlic sauce or even a homemade salsa.

Will you be adding chicken to your weekly meal plan? With so many ways to prepare this dish, everyone in the family can enjoy a sandwich they love. La Rosa Chicken and Grill has some of the tastiest, healthiest chicken sandwiches around. If you need a break from cooking, stop into today for a fresh meal!

3 Hacks for Making the Best Roasted Chicken

November 21st, 2020 by

For many households, chicken is a go-to protein. It’s cheap, easy to make and a fan favorite. The only problem with chicken is that it can be dry and bland, especially when you’re choosing an option like roasting. Luckily, you can prevent this by following a few clever tricks.

Get ready to look like a cooking pro with these three hacks for making the best roasted chicken.

Hack #1. Use a blow dryer to get your chicken dry.

One step you can’t skip when cooking roasted chicken is to dry out the inside and outside of the bird. Any moisture on the skin and cavity can lead to steaming, and this will produce a less-crispy skin and tougher meat.

To help you out, use a blow dryer. Yes, it may seem strange to blow dry your chicken, but it works! The direct heat soaks up any moisture that you can’t see and ensures your meal turns out crispy and delicious!

Hack #2. Make a “rack” out of vegetables. It will help your chicken cook and give you a side dish for your meal.

When the chicken is nice and dry, place it on a rack in a roasting pan. This allows the air and heat to circulate around the chicken better. Some roasting pans come with racks in them so there’s nothing extra you need to do.

However, if you don’t have a rack, you can make one out of vegetables like potatoes, carrots and green beans. Simply use any oven-safe dish or skillet and pile up the vegetables to lift the chicken. Not only does this prevent rotisserie chicken from drying out, but also you’ll have a yummy side dish without any extra cooking or dishes to clean!

Hack #3. Brush the skin with melted butter and stuff the cavity with whole lemons, garlic cloves or fresh herbs.

The skin of the chicken needs attention. Most home cooks use salt and pepper, but you may want to try melted butter. This gives the skin an even richer flavor! But why stop there?

The inside of the chicken also needs a flavor boost. One option is to place punctured whole lemons in the cavity of the chicken while it roasts. Other chefs recommend adding herbs or whole gloves of garlic inside the chicken.

These three hacks will help you make the most of your roasted chicken dinners. If you’re not up to cooking, order out from La Rosa Chicken and Grill. We have a great selection of fresh chicken dishes that everyone in the family will love!