It’s almost dinner time. You’ve been rushing around all day and make one last stop before heading home. You are trying to feed your family healthier options so instead of opting for the drive thru, you head to the grocery store and pick up a rotisserie chicken. Sound familiar?

According to an article from Bloomberg, 60 million rotisserie chickens are purchased through Costco every year.  It’s definitely a huge business.  When “food” is a huge business and the cost seems out of whack (as low as $4.99 for a whole rotisserie) our ears perk up to take notice.

While rotisserie chickens are definitely a step up from fast foods, there are some things to be aware of:

  • The skin of rotisserie chicken was found to have high amounts of HCAs (a carcinogenic compound that forms when meat is cooked at a high temperature)
  • Most rotisserie chickens are injected with chemicals you want to steer clear of including yeast extract, phosphates, and carageenen (more on that below).
  • The healthier the chicken was raised, the healthier the cooked chicken will be for you.  You can learn much more about this in our Don’t Be Duped by Labels program.

Having said that, healthier rotisserie chicken can be a good option for those hectic days when you don’t have time to cook, but still want to nourish yourself and your family.  You just want to make sure you are buying a good clean brand. Look for organic, and check the labels. Here you will see the ingredient difference between two choices:

Generic store brand $3.86/lb:

  • sodium phosphate
  • dextrose, flavor (what?)
  • carageenan, which is a known inflammatory and GI disruptor (you can read more about that HERE):

Preferred clean, chemical free brand ($4.96/lb).

  • chicken
  • salt
  • pepper

So, which would you prefer? 

The second is from one of the better companies (Bell and Evans) that raise their chickens with higher quality than many of the other large poultry companies out there. You can find these types of healthier rotisseries at Whole Foods, Wegmans, McCaffrey’s or many other larger chain supermarkets.

While Bell & Evans is supplied in the East, Central and South), one supplier on the west coast is Marys. You can check out their sites to see if they supply to a store near you.

Once you have the rotisserie chicken, you can eat it plain, turn leftovers into chicken salad or add it to soups.  Speaking of soup, when you are done with the chicken, you can cook the bones in a pot of water to make a delicious homemade chicken stock.

soup chicken

What about you?  Do you get rotisserie chicken?  What do you do with the leftovers?

Don’t forget to check out our Don’t Be Duped by Labels Class, which is packed with more fascinating info to upgrade your health.

References:
http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-10-30/lifestyle/35502013_1_rotisserie-golden-brown-skin-chicken-noodle-soup
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-09/costco-stands-behind-its-cheap-rotisserie-chicken-strategy