From Chef Francis Hogan over at BlueStem Brasserie,
First off, getting in the whole bird was fun. It allowed me to use the feet and head to make a ridiculously flavorful stock. Getting the innards would have been nice too, but that could be a personal preference.
As far as the carcass itself, it took me a second to decide what to do with it. As I'm sure you saw, there isn't much breast meat, so you can't really fabricate it the same way you would a regular chicken. I thought about it a few ways, but the idea that came screaming at me that would be perfect was to do a true Coq Au Vin.
Coq Au Vin is a Burgundian country dish that over the last 50 years, has been manipulated to a pedestrian friendly incarnation using everyday chicken. What makes the dish truly awesome is when you use a tougher bird. A Coq, or Rooster.
In my honest feedback it has the stamina to stand to the long braising without getting dry (which happens when you use a commercial chicken to braise). The flavor of this bird was amazing in this preparation. I ran a Coq Au Vin special, sold 1/2 a bird along with all the appropriate accompaniments. I only had 6, but I sold them with the first hour of service. The feedback was very positive from all guests that ordered it.
I guess before I can speculate on the success of these birds, I'd need to know the price. They are very special, there's no doubt about that. From a customer's perspective, a restaurant can only sell a chicken dish for but so much. Speaking for myself, I could see me running this as a once a week "Plat du Jour" and do a braise, likely a Coq Au Vin. Thats where I think this bird really shines.
In summation, these are special birds. They are however geared for a niche market, and for particular Chefs who appreciate it for what it is. There are a lot of chefs out there who wouldn't want to be bothered with this type of bird. I'm not one of those. But I do want to offer my honest feedback.
I'd be happy to offer any followup on this. Please keep me posted on your development of this program, because I think its very unique and interesting.
Hope to See you Soon!