Championship chicken at Houston's, Roosevelt Field

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The exceptional rotisserie chicken at Houston's at Roosevelt

The exceptional rotisserie chicken at Houston's at Roosevelt Field (Sept., 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday/Joan Reminick

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The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

A recent dinner at Houston’s, at Roosevelt Field, was, for me, a departure from the usual. Instead of ordering the cheeseburger ($17) —  named number one in a recent article on Long Island’s best —  or the amazing house-made veggie burger ($16), I opted for the rotisserie chicken ($20), whose menu description also included the words “limited availability.”

That, I found out, means that the dish is only served at dinner. It's also rotisserie-roasted in limited quantities. If a chicken isn’t ordered within an hour of coming off the spit, I was told, it’s discarded because it loses its natural juices. There are only so many chickens roasted every night.

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I hit the jackpot with mine, crusted with crushed herbs, beautifully burnished, juicy and savory throughout. It was plated with couscous, the grains dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, mixed with radish, scallions, tomatoes, fresh mint leaves and almonds. Chunky and vibrant.

Houston's chicken becomes available at 5 p.m.;  the earlier you arrive, the more certain you are of getting your bird.

Houston’s is at Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Rd., Unit 1047, Garden City, 516-873-1454,

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