$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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HARRIS TEETER Lee-Harrison
$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.
$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.
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.
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.”
SHOPPERS FOOD AND PHARMACY Potomac Yard
$6.49 / 1 pound 14 ounces (labeled as 2 pounds 2 ounces)
$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.
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.