Most Read: Lifestyle

Trove link goes here

Live Online Discussions

There are no discussions scheduled today.

Weekly schedule, past shows

All We Can Eat
Posted at 01:32 PM ET, 10/30/2012

How supermarket rotisserie chickens stack up

Supermarket rotisserie chickens share a few characteristics — steamed skin, similar look, and they all taste pretty good while they are warm. The quality of the birds was affected most by how they were handled and monitored. Here are notes on the chickens we tried from 14 Washington area stores, listed in alphabetical order. We weighed them and in some cases found discrepancies in the weights listed on the label.
Balducci's Simply Chicken (Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

BALDUCCI’S, McLean

$8.99 /2 pounds 12 ounces (labeled as 2 pounds 4 ounces)

Fairly juicy and pleasant-tasting; Simply Chicken label touts an antibiotic-free, all-vegetarian diet for the bird and a salt solution. Unsold birds are pulled from the shelf after four hours; the meat is used in prepared foods such as quesadillas and soup.

Time-stamped.


(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

BJ’S Falls Church

$4.99 / 2 pounds 14.5 ounces (labeled as 3 pounds)

Nice color. A Perdue bird; signs of overcooking include legs that are practically falling off. Unsold birds are removed and discarded after four hours.

No time-stamp.


(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

COSTCO Pentagon City

$4.99 / 2 pounds 13 ounces

Plump and exceedingly juicy. USDA Grade A birds with “no added hormones or steroids” come injected and seasoned to the store. Unsold birds are pulled from the display after two hours, then chilled thoroughly and used for rotisserie chicken wraps, Caesar salad and more.

Time-stamped.


Rotisserie Chicken from Food Lion (Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

FOOD LION, Fredericksburg

$7.49/2 pounds 8 ounces

Fairly moist, with natural-tasting flavor. Not too salty or over-seasoned.

Birds are pulled from the display after four hours. The store uses the meat for chicken salad.

Time-stamped.


(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

FRESH N GREENS, Northwest Washington

$7.49 / 2 pounds 11 / 4 ounces

Meat is under-seasoned and very moist; dark meat is almost falling off the bone and tastes slightly greasy. Allen’s (of Delaware) Classic Flavor birds are roasted in a non-rotisserie oven at the store; a dozen are available by 11 a.m., then roasted on an as-needed basis. Unsold birds are removed after four hours; breast meat is used to make chicken salad.

No time-stamp.


(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

FRESH MARKET Vienna

$7.99 / 2 pounds, 23 / 4 ounces

Meat was dry; a few roasted feather quills clung to the bird. Packaging was different from the rest: an aluminum foil tray that slides out of a grease-proof brown bag. Birds are not self-service but are ordered from the prepared-foods display case, then packaged. After four hours, unsold birds are used to make rotisserie chicken salad.

No time-stamp.


(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

GIANT Columbia Heights

$7.99 / 2 pounds, 101 / 4 ounces

Nice-looking; the skin was a deep shade of bronze with welcome patches of char. The meat was a little dry and underwhelming in flavor. Unsold birds are pulled from the shelf after three hours; some are put into the cold case and some are used to make rotisserie chicken salad.

Time-stamped.
(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

HARRIS TEETER Lee-Harrison

(Arlington)

$7.49; $4.99 Sundays / 2 pounds 13 / 4 ounces (labeled as 1 pound 12 ounces)

Meat is fairly flavorful but a little salty; white meat is dry. Unsold birds are marked down after three hours, discarded after one more hour.

Time-stamped.
(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

MAGRUDER’S Rockville

$5.88 / 2 pounds 1 / 4 ounce

Mild flavor. Allen’s (of Delaware) seasoning. White meat stringy; dark meat tough. Birds are packed in flexible, resealable polypropylene bags, which steam the skin. The bird sits in its juices.

Time-stamped.


(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

SAFEWAY Fifth and L streets NW $7.99 / 2 pounds 6 ounces

Simply seasoned. White meat mealy; dark meat juicy. Overcooked overall; bird fell apart easily. Additives include modified cornstarch, soy lecithin, xanthan gum and sugar.

Unsold birds are pulled after three hours and used to make chicken salad.

Time-stamped.
(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

SAM’S CLUB, Gaithersburg

$4.88/ 3 pounds 81 / 4 ounces

Quite moist, flavored with the familiar-tasting Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. Drumsticks tend to fall off the bone. Labeled as gluten-free and allergen-free.

Birds are pulled from the shelf every four hours. The store uses the meat for salad and soup.

No time-stamp; package says “use within 3 days of purchase.”


Shopper's rotisserie chicken (Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

SHOPPERS FOOD AND PHARMACY Potomac Yard

$6.49 / 1 pound 14 ounces (labeled as 2 pounds 2 ounces)

White meat stringy; dark meat flat-tasting. Culinary Circle Original Chicken “flavoring solution” listed on the label. Additives include xantham gum, guar gum, corn syrup solids, sorbitol and sugar. After four hours, unsold birds are chilled and transferred to a cold case for sale; after two days, unsold birds are discarded. Time-stamped.
(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

WEGMANS Fairfax

$4.99 / 2 pounds

Fairly moist, with a balanced saltiness. Dark meat (legs) falling off the bone. Unsold birds pulled after three hours; the breast meat is used to make chicken noodle soup.

No time-stamp.


(Deb Lindsey - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

WHOLE FOODS P Street NW

$8.99 / 2 pounds

Dry, could hardly taste seasoning. Some birds are roasted before lunchtime. After 3:30 p.m., they are roasted every 45 minutes. Unsold birds are used for chicken salad, sandwiches and pizzas.

No time-stamp.

Aromatic Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Bistilla

Scott Drewno’s Chicken Curry Salad

Jeff Tunks’s Peruvian Chicken Stir-Fry

Silvia’s Quick Shredded Chicken

Taste Test: Next-day rotisserie chicken

Leakproof beats flabby skin

The bird that goes around, stays around

By Food staff  |  01:32 PM ET, 10/30/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company