Where Is The Best Rotisserie Chicken In Boston?
by Sheryl Julian and Sally Pasley Vargas, Boston Globe
Posted: 2018-02-20 15:37:28 EST

The price tag on a rotisserie chicken is often so reasonable that if you do the math, you can’t buy and cook a bird for less. Right now in the Boston area, walk into any supermarket and the first thing you smell is a chicken cooking — usually in the back of the store to get you way inside so you pop other things into the cart. A fiver can get you a big bird hovering around3 pounds, or something much smaller, often less than 2. Rotisserie chickens are so important to getting customers into a store that when Amazon bought Whole Foods Market last year, it dropped the price of a plain bird from $9.99 to $7.99.

Sure they smell good, but that seductive part is often unrelated to taste. So we lined up 10 chickens from area chains to find the best-tasting. As you can imagine, the aromas on the way home — with all those birds in the back seat — nearly drove us crazy. But under the microscope, our tempting packages were a little less exciting. When you get the chicken in the store, it’s typically already packaged in a large plastic container or a plastic bag. The birds go into the containers completely cooked and hot, then they’re set on heated shelving. A few minutes in there and skin that may once have been crisp turns flabby, and the flesh keeps on cooking.

Pricing a bird low is what the supermarket industry calls a “loss leader.” It gets you in the door. Perhaps you’ll want an order of mashed potatoes with your chicken, or mac and cheese, slaw, and more. No store knows this better than Costco, whose cheap, popular birds ($4.99) have customers raving online about them.

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