There’s much build-up around Rachel Klein’s upcoming RFK Kitchen, but the news of an accompanying fast casual concept focused on her famed rotisserie chicken got us drooling. Klein, who was famous for her trusty custom French Rotisol rotisserie at Liquid Art House, has an affinity for a good roast bird, and she says she’s looking at a potential location that’s close to RFK’s new home in Needham. The hope is the concept flourish, additional locations in the suburbs and “possibly downtown” would follow.
“This isn’t a fast food,” explains Klein. “It’s going to have a unique and independent feeling. The [food] shouldn’t feel like it’s mass produced, because it’s not. I have a family and I also work a lot, and it’s like, what do you do? You want to pick up something to go, but just because it’s quick, doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. As a parent, I already feel guilty for taking out and eating out every day, but if I can find something that’s good for us and tastes good, that’s great.”
The chicken Klein will use is an all-natural bird and will likely come in both signature and rotating (ha!) special flavors, with sides. And yes, there will be those little buttery potatoes basting in chicken drippings like you’d get from a traditional Parisian poulet roti.
“We’re doing a rotisserie at RFK and will have those roasted potatoes,” says the chef. “They’re just sitting in a little bit of water and the fat from the chicken juices just drip constantly on it.”
Rotisserie chickens will also be available to-go in limited quantities at RFK once it opens in what looks like late spring, so diners can get a taste of what’s to come from Klein’s future endeavors. Plus, they’ll get a experience of one of the chef’s own favorite foods.
“I love rotisserie because it just falls of the bone,” muses Klein. “It’s such a slow cook, basting in its own juices, all that chicken fat twirling around, coating the chicken. You’re not going to get that super, super crispy chicken skin like you’d get if you roasted in the oven, but I think the flavor locks in and it’s really juicy. I love it. You have to get it.”
But what if you want a rotisserie chicken — now?
Klein wouldn't give up her go-to fix for rotisserie chicken for obvious reasons ("it's close!"), but offers up La Rotisserie in Chestnut Hill and says she wouldn't say no to grocery store-roasted bird.
"It's just nice to have a chicken," she adds. "I'll go wherever. It's all fair game."