The $4.50 rotisserie chicken. In my grocery store, it’s right up front next to the check out lanes. Up there with the impulse purchases like giant lollipops and knock off Matchbox cars. It’s an enticing item. An entire bird (minus the head) for under $5. Never mind the fact that it’s been sitting beneath the warming lights for 12 hours, that bird could feed a whole family of four. But make no mistake, buying a grocery store rotisserie chicken says more about you than, “I’m hungry, and I like chicken.” It says I’m too tired to cook, but too cheap to spring for a bucket of KFC. It’s like wearing Crocs in public–it signals to the world that you’ve given up.
Scoreboard: Life 1, You 0.
I’m ashamed to say I rely on the rotisserie chicken more often than I should. In the lean post-college years, the dirty bird and I were close friends. Five nights a week, my dinner was a rotisserie chicken, bag of salad, and sixer on Natty Light (cue nostalgic music). Now, about once every couple of weeks the kids will wear me down to the point where jumping off of our 30-foot-high deck is more appealing than dragging the pots out to cook dinner, so I’ll break down and buy the bird.
Warning: If you find yourself in the same situation, never contemplate the economics of that bird. How do they get a chicken on to your table for under $5? (It’s people. You’re eating people!) How non-organic is this chicken that they can raise it, feed it, kill it, ship it, cook it, and package it for for the same price as a two-piece dinner at Bojangles? If two-pieces of Bojangles chicken costs $5, then where did these fine rotisserie birds come from? Maybe they’re not chicken at all. Maybe they’re pigeon.
And don’t be fooled by the fact that there are three new flavors of chicken to choose from: lemon pepper, barbecue, and Cajun. They all taste the same: a carefully blended mix of room temperature bacteria and defeat.