|Seasoned rotisserie chickens at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack. At only $4.99 for a 3-pound chicken, these birds fly out the door, but the quality is questionable.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
I'm sure the editors of the Costco Connection came to praise the rotisserie chicken sold at the warehouse store, not to bury it.
In the latest issue of what is called "a lifestyle magazine for Costco members," customers who love the highly seasoned rotisserie chicken offer their ideas on how to best use leftovers.
However, the most prominent comment is in the voice of "Maggie the Labrador, owned by Will and Jill Mason" of Chandler, Ariz.
"The chicken's so-called leftovers (fat, trimmings and juices) are mixed in with my bowl of normally blase dog food, transforming my food into a weekly treat," the dog is quoted as saying.
That says it in a nutshell: This chicken makes great dog food, not good human food.
Costco puts the "Kirkland Signature" name on the label of the rotisserie chicken, but that is usually reserved for organic eggs, preservative-free smoked wild salmon and other high quality items.
Ingredients include water, salt, sugar, carrageenan, silicon dioxide and polysorbate 80.
Silent on antibiotics
The editors don't even say whether the chicken is fed an all-vegetable diet.
Costco sells about 50 million rotisserie chickens a year, the magazine reports.
I tried one of these chickens years ago, and didn't like how it tasted.
It was inferior to the rotisserie chickens I'd pick up at Fairway Market in Harlem, where customers have a choice between a conventional chicken and a Murray's free-roaming bird, which is raised without antibiotics.
A quiet day at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack. The warehouse closed in October 2015, when a bigger Costco opened a few miles away in Teterboro, then reopened in March 2016 as a Costco Business Center.
|On a Saturday in late June 2016 at the Teterboro warehouse, one Costco member couldn't wait to get his rotisserie chicken home.|
Going natural at Whole Foods
On Tuesday, I asked the Costco employee at the rotisserie chicken stand in Hackensack if he knew which processor supplies the chickens.
He said he didn't, and that they arrive at the store already seasoned, so all he has to do is put them in the big rotisserie cases behind him and when they are fully cooked, pack them in black-and-clear-plastic takeout containers.
I'm not sure why the Costco Connection is using a hard sell for this low-quality chicken.
The article begins:
"Costco's Kirkland Signature rotisserie chicken has almost a cult following. It even has its own Facebook page."
Costco also sells whole, uncooked Coleman Organic chickens.
Why not give customers who care what they are eating a choice and offer the organic chicken side-by-side with the mystery rotisserie chicken?
Even the headline used is offensive to fans of Charlie Parker, the late jazz alto saxophonist who was known as "Bird" for his soaring solos.
Costco Connection says:
"Bird is the word"
"Members flock to Costco's rotisserie chicken."
I say: Not if you know what's good for you.
Click on the following links:
Where to find better-quality rotisserie chickens
Costco's low-quality rotisserie bird costs more in Canada
Costco shoppers see red in undercooked chickens