Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bitten: Rotisserie Chicken Part One - Value Brands

For a fast food dinner that still has a semblance of nutritional value, nothing beats the take-out rotisserie chicken. They can be quickly turned into a pie. The carcasses make great stock. But which rotisserie chicken to buy? Fear not, we are here to help. Our first three chickens are from typical neighbourhood sources; Valumart (Loblaws affiliate), Sobey's, and Rabba.

Packaging - Dark plastic tray with clear cover. Cardboard wrap forming handles. Lots of storage info labels (one listing the ingredients). Only packaging which leaked.

Appearance - Large, plump bird. Missing a strip of skin across the breast. Not well browned.

Flavour - Innocuous flavour.

Overall Impression - This bird was awash in a sea of juice, which soaked into our reusable bag. A bit fatty, the bird was moist but bland. Too much packaging.

SOBEY'S - $9.99
Packaging - Covered tray with cardboard. Like the Valumart version, this one came with instructions to store the bird under 40F or heat to above 140F.

Appearance - Nicely browned, but the skin was wrinkled.

Flavour - Tastiness is undercut by the dryness of the flesh.

Overall impression - Though the skin was a good colour, everything about this bird pointed to overcooking, compounded by steaming in plastic packaging.

RABBA - $7.99
Packaging - Foil-lined paper bag with no info

Appearance - Noticeably smaller than the other chickens, but still plump. Evenly golden.

Flavour - The wings tasted like celery salt, but the rest of the very moist flesh had the flavour of a classic Sunday-dinner chicken.

Overall Impression - Rabba's no frills, rotisserie chicken was attractive, delicious, and a bargain.

Stay tuned for Bitten Part Two - the Gourmet Grocers!

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