The Great Rotisserie Chicken Taste-Off
Supermarkets around the state fire up the rotisserie ovens early in the morning and keep a steady stream of birds flocking to the heat-lamped racks through the day, waiting for hungry shoppers to walk by, get a whiff of the savory aroma and grab one (or more) to take home for dinner.
We recently bought two rotisserie chickens from each of the Manchester-Nashua area's big three supermarket chains. (No, we didn't include wholesale clubs or local markets — maybe we'll do it again!) We invited the newsroom crew here at the Union Leader — gastronomes all — to do a blind taste test and rate each store's bird.
We chose one bird from each store as the "model" for our photo shoot and carved up the second. The tasters viewed each model chicken and sampled from an adjacent tray containing the model bird's cut-up compatriot.
Check out the test results below:
The best bird: Shaw's
First: 10 Second: 2 Third: 3
Some of the comments:
"Great flavor all the way through."
"Looks plump & crispy. Juicy. Not as much spice/flavor as the outside promised."
"Seasoning could be tasted all the way through."
"This one had the tastiest spices on the skin."
First: 4 Second: 10 Third: 1
Some of the comments:
"Good -; just misses being best."
"Salty -; bird tasted as if it had been brined."
"Well seasoned, tender and juicy -; but not as much as Bird A (Shaw's)."
"Best even color, except burned wingtips."
"Close between this one and Bird B (Hannaford), but this one had the best flavor of the three."
First: 0 Second: 5 Third: 10
Price: $4.99 (on sale, regular $5.49)
"Least appealing visually. Small. Moist, but as bland as it looked."
"A bit dry ... Not brown enough."
"Least visually appealing, but not bad."
"Good rotisserie flavor."
"Pale color; dark meat moist; good flavor."
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