Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Cooking at home and sourcing ingredients

Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby Skillet Doux » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:44 am

Last time I was down at Mekong, a couple of weeks ago, I noticed-- well, it was kind of hard to miss -- a new market directly across Dobson.

wingleeexterior.jpg
Wing Lee Exterior

Wing Lee is a poultry farm based in Chino, California, and it sounds like they mostly supply the SoCal area, and have a few of their own stores in L.A. and San Diego. This one's both a poultry market and a small grocery of sorts. The poultry prep area is huge, taking up maybe a third of of the floor, and it's off to the right, completely encased in glass, and it's immaculate. If you tell me that's where you'll be performing my emergency surgery, I might be okay with that. The woman working the front counter told me they get a daily truck from California, and they were unpacking a crate of chickens in the prep area as we talked. They were already slaughtered, defeathered and cleaned, but were otherwise completely intact -- feet, heads and all -- and packed in ice, though not frozen. You hate to judge too much by appearances, but they looked fabulous.

wingleesilkiesign.jpg
Silkies For Sale

Yup. Fresh black chicken. Guess I know what I'm going to be experimenting with at home. The glass is covered with prices and specials and photographs of various breeds and ages of chickens, eggs, ducks, and other poultry items. Unfortunately I only had a few minutes or I would have taken some notes, but I'd really like to go back to get a full accounting of what's there and do a little research. I asked about the Vikon chickens that everybody in L.A. was freaking out about, but sadly they don't carry them. I didn't press for detail. Though I'm actually not certain if Vikon is a breed or a marketing name. If the latter, obviously they wouldn't carry them. In any case, it looked like there were maybe seven or eight different breeds/ages of chicken. Much to sample.

wingleejackfruit.jpg
Jackfruit

The grocery portion of the store isn't really a grocery, per se, but it carried large volumes of select items, with a lot of fruit. They had a stand set up with a bunch of jackfruit, there was a pallet of boxes filled with mangos, and a refrigerator in the back was filled with cartons of mangosteens (presumably from Thailand?). I'm not up on where mangosteens are coming from these days... if they're ever flown in fresh or if they're all frozen. But if you've never had one, they're really delicious.

If anybody gets in here, please do report. I was just rushing through, so I couldn't really spend any time or do any shopping. But now I want to find a couple of black chicken recipes.
-Dom
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Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby icchef » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:31 pm

I've never had black chicken in anything else but soup. My mom bought one here as well as an "old" chicken, both for soup. Prices are very reasonable and seems more fresh than buying anywhere else.
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Re: Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby Skillet Doux » Thu May 03, 2012 8:33 am

Azhotdish and I stopped by yesterday to pick up black chickens (more on that here), and I wanted to catalog the other offerings a bit as well. I've done what I could with Google, but if anybody who speaks/reads Vietnamese or Chinese could elaborate or correct, I'd be a big help:

wingleechickenlineup.jpg
Chicken Lineup (Click to enlarge)

The first, ga mai, is just a Cornish game hen, I believe. The second, I have no idea. I can't find it, and the only translation I get for dau is strawberry. So... um... help? Gallina Rancho... ranch chicken in Spanish, obviously. What that means I'm not sure. The last one's pretty self-explanatory.

Jumbo eggs are $3 for a 20 count tray of white, $4.30 for the same of brown. I don't understand why the price discrepancy.

wingleegadibo.jpg
Ga Di Bo

There's also ga di bo, which is apparently a kind of firm-fleshed free range chicken (via Pham Fatale). An image search on ga trong pulls up a lot of roosters, so I'm guessing the first is a rooster. No idea about the second. But it looks like this is the place to go if anybody wants to do a real coq au vin.

There's trung ga so at $6 per tray, and given that the white eggs are trung ga trang and the brown eggs are trung ga nau, I'm assuming it's another type of egg, though whether a different color or a different beast, I don't know. They did have some goose eggs in a cooler in back.

Also, there's a little sign advertising lap cheong (lap xuong, the Vietnamese translation, on their sign). The English label is "California Sausage," so perhaps it's fresh lap cheong from SoCal? That'd be pretty cool. I've only ever used packaged lap cheong. I don't know how significant the difference might be.

Whole ducks, too, and they looked great. I forgot to note the price.

Also...

wingleechickeninnards.jpg
Chicken Innards

Two or three dollars per pound. We're not just talking the liver, heart and gizzard here. That's... the whole thing. I can't imagine what some of this stuff is used for, but I'm curious.
-Dom
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Re: Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby Christina » Thu May 03, 2012 10:25 am

Skillet Doux wrote:The first, ga mai, is just a Cornish game hen, I believe. The second, I have no idea. I can't find it, and the only translation I get for dau is strawberry. So... um... help? Gallina Rancho... ranch chicken in Spanish, obviously. What that means I'm not sure. The last one's pretty self-explanatory.


Just had mom look at it. Yes, ga mai is hen or "girl chicken" (ga trong is "boy chicken"/rooster). I didn't notice you had already figured out free-range because mom spent some time wondering why the chickens were called "walking" ;) , so free-range (walking = di bo) young hens. The second says "Oil Hen", which mom had never heard of.

Skillet Doux wrote:There's also ga di bo...An image search on ga trong pulls up a lot of roosters, so I'm guessing the first is a rooster. No idea about the second.


The first does say free-range rooster. Ga trong = rooster + di bo = walking. The third says something like "3 Gold" so maybe a breed?

Skillet Doux wrote:There's trung ga so at $6 per tray, and given that the white eggs are trung ga trang and the brown eggs are trung ga nau, I'm assuming it's another type of egg, though whether a different color or a different beast, I don't know.


Mom says "so" means "first" so maybe trung ga so means something like a chicken's first batch of eggs?

And in the picture of the innards, the orange-gold spheres are unlaid eggs.
Last edited by Christina on Thu May 03, 2012 10:44 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby Skillet Doux » Thu May 03, 2012 10:39 am

Christina wrote:And in the picture of the innards, the orange-gold spheres are unlaid eggs.

Wow! Any idea how they're used?

Thank your mom for me!
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Re: Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby CelticBellaAZ » Thu May 03, 2012 4:17 pm

Dom you mentioned goose eggs, but by chance any duck eggs? One of my recipes call for duck eggs but I can't find them at the Chinese cultural center or at Lee Lees....

Thanks
Good food does not have to be difficult or expensive! Sláinte!
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Re: Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby Skillet Doux » Thu May 03, 2012 4:53 pm

CelticBellaAZ wrote:Dom you mentioned goose eggs, but by chance any duck eggs? One of my recipes call for duck eggs but I can't find them at the Chinese cultural center or at Lee Lees....

Thanks

99% certain they do. I'm surprised you didn't find them elsewhere, though. I've seen them at Super L (Chinese Cultural Center), and they're always at Mekong. Just be careful not to buy the balut by accident :-)
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Re: Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby ericeatsout » Fri May 04, 2012 8:21 am

Interesting cultural tidbit: Those orange spheres (unlaid eggs) in the chicken innards used to be very common in Jewish cuisine, mainly in chicken soup. If they are the same thing I'm thinking about, we'd eat them in soup all the time as kids. They'd float at the top. Haven't had them in at least 30 years though. They were sold differently in Jewish delis and I remember my mom saying something about them not being available any more.
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Re: Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby Skillet Doux » Fri May 04, 2012 8:33 am

ericeatsout wrote:Interesting cultural tidbit: Those orange spheres (unlaid eggs) in the chicken innards used to be very common in Jewish cuisine, mainly in chicken soup. If they are the same thing I'm thinking about, we'd eat them in soup all the time as kids. They'd float at the top. Haven't had them in at least 30 years though. They were sold differently in Jewish delis and I remember my mom saying something about them not being available any more.

Okay, now this merits some research. I'll see what I can find this weekend, because I'm totally fascinated by this.
-Dom
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Re: Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby ericeatsout » Fri May 04, 2012 8:42 am

Dom: Here is some info - -

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/07/dinin ... ref=slogin


And copied from a blog I read:

Eyerlekh (Unhatched eggs)

Jews adore eggs — chopped into salad, scrambled with onions and boiled in a pot of cholent. But eyerlekh (Yiddish for “little eggs”), the creamy, flavorful unhatched eggs found inside just-slaughtered chickens and typically cooked in soup, fell away with the rise of prepackaged chicken parts. Of all the foods on this list, bringing back what my mom remembers as “golden treasures” is the most aspirational. Doing so would require more backyard chickens and a closer relationship with our butcher. Next year in the chicken coop?
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Re: Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby sinosoul » Fri May 04, 2012 11:17 am

Christina wrote:The first does say free-range rooster. Ga trong = rooster + di bo = walking. The third says something like "3 Gold" so maybe a breed?

Following "3 Gold" is explanation in Chinese: yellow (gold) feather, yellow skin, yellow oil.

"Eyerlekh" tidbit is FASCINATING. More Chinese/Jew connections. This stuff boggles my mind, also, just today, I found a Jewish-Chinese LA restaurant blogger, THAT boggles my mind.

Also, these poultry shops SHOULD chop/butcher the chicken for you. I usually ask the birds to be decapitated, then quartered.

1 note on Vikon -- it'd make sense they don't sell Vikon. Vikon is marketed by only one single poultry farm (C.A.L), and is trademarked. Another competing farm wouldn't carry it, but supermarkets, as you discovered, would.
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Re: Wing Lee Fresh Poultry

Postby Skillet Doux » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:25 pm

I stopped into Wing Lee this weekend to pick up a chicken for the Into the Vietnamese Kitchen thread, and I'm reminded that I really need to go here more often. I mean really, this place is so freaking cool. Where else do you get your choice of multiple breeds of chicken, butchered to order?

I spent a few minutes talking about the breeds available with the fellow who was running the store. Interestingly, he was distinguishing by texture, not by flavor, which was a great reminder of how important texture is to these cuisines. I ended up with a Ga Tam Vang, which he described as sort of a medium-textured chicken -- not overly tender, not overly chewy. Even then, it had a significantly leaner, firmer texture than any grocery store chicken. Great flavor. Plus I love that they pull the whole thing out of ice and clean it up to order. Whole or in pieces? Legs and head on or off? Want the giblets? ALL of the giblets?

Great place.
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