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Supermarket cooked chickens

Posted by Vanessa45 
Supermarket cooked chickens
August 20, 2016 10:28PM
Ive just read the following article via David lebovitz about how cooked supermarket chickens are cheap as chips and why!
Some of the reasons/theories were...

*Flogging off chickens near their best buy dates
*Using them as a hook to get customers in due to the smell assuming they will buy more products
*They are actually quite small and if you weigh them kg for kg, they are not actually cheaper, we just perceive them to be. (They are also plumped up with injected fluids)


What do you think about the NZ cooked chickens?

Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 20, 2016 11:57PM
Yep probably all of the above-mentioned.
When the kids were young and had afterschool trainings, and I was working and had to shop in an evening,, these were a good quick dinner, once in a while. I felt better than any fast food burger or pizza! So they served a purpose.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 21, 2016 02:33AM
I don't agree with the flogging them off near bb dates. Chickens are packaged specifically for the hot cooked chicken range. They are stuffed or not and are also trussed ready for the rotisserie.
Our family buys one every Saturday as the kids love hot cooked chicken in ciabatta or baguette for lunch.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 21, 2016 04:47AM
...yes agree with Helen - they are supplied especially for cooking and are not being flogged off near their best before dates. If you look at the little sticker on them there is a time beyond which they cannot stay in the heated cabinet, so they are often reduced in price half an hour or so before then to clear them. Smaller or not, they are convenient and there's absolutely nothing wrong with them for a quick meal with some bread and/or salad or coleslaw and you might even get a sandwich for lunch the next day, so quite economical.

Edited to add, when I mentioned the time on the sticker, I was referring to those sold in a bag or on a tray, not the rotisserie chickens, although the same time limits apply.


Barbara Anne

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2016 04:58AM by Barbara Anne.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 21, 2016 06:51AM
Read this thread just before I went to the supermarket at lunchtime, and stopped to look at the display and was pleasantly surprised to see that they even had free range chickens available, so we had a delicious lunch of hot chicken sandwiches and there is heaps leftover for lunches over the next day or so.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 21, 2016 07:04AM
I buy them too for a quick and easy meal. I shred the leftovers and freeze it, perfect for sandwiches, quick chicken salads etc.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 21, 2016 12:13PM
That article is referring to America which you cannot assume happens here. They have very different rules and regulations than here.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/21/2016 12:14PM by Plates.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 22, 2016 01:04AM
Bev I have only just started to freeze chopped cooked chicken and can't believe it had never occurred to me to do it.
I then use it straight into rolls for school lunches or into soups and risottos,
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 22, 2016 01:25AM
So handy, I always have a bag in the freezer. Perfect also for you delicious Sesame chicken salad Helen.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 22, 2016 01:32AM
We buy them occasionally for quick meals. I know it can be cheaper to cook your own but we all have those days/times when convenience is of the prime importance.

They can be a little greasy, aside from that we all enjoy them.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 22, 2016 02:41AM
I agree nothing wrong with the cooked chickens, as was said better than fast might be dearer than a fresh one but it saves the mess of having to cook it, really handy.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 22, 2016 06:18AM
I am quite happy to have NZ cooked chickens. Sometimes you can buy two for a very reasonable price. When that happens we eat one and freeze the other in portions.
I was going to mention that the article is from America but I see Plates has covered that aspect.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 22, 2016 07:26AM
The comment about them not being as cheap as they appear is right for the US market where they are sold for as little as US$4.99 in a national chain store. I used to buy them a couple of times a week at that shop for that price when my oldest son was young as they were a great jump start on dinner while having to deal with a very colicky infant and later, a grumpy toddler.

So in comparison I found the $12-14.99 price here a bit steep for a while, but still they are a very useful product and like everyone else says, so so so much better than fast food. On sports practice nights when I'm out of the house with the boys from 3-7pm we'll often have hot chicken sandwiches and a quick salad.

On freezing chicken bits - we don't usually have much left over from a hot chicken, but for the boys lunch rolls I buy the Tegel meal mates packs of shredded chicken, then portion it into smaller resealable plastic bags and freeze. I allow for 30g per roll and pack 2-3 days worth so I don't lose any going bad in the fridge. When you can buy it on sale for $7-7.50 per pack it makes a good alternative to ham, pastrami etc and is light years nicer than the shaved chicken roll you get in the Hellers and Beehive packs. IMO there isn't too much difference in price for a better product ($2.36 vs $2/100g).
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 22, 2016 11:40AM
I have never frozen cooked chicken portions or shredded chicken. Do you just wrap it in cling wrap and then put it in containers/bags?
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 23, 2016 12:09AM
I often wonder why Rotisserie chicken is so succulent - I can never recreate the same at home. Is this just from the style of cooking?
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 23, 2016 01:12AM
Chris I put my chicken into a plastic bag and then into a container and it keeps well.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 23, 2016 04:10AM
Ingrid, I wonder if they're brined first. I always rotisserie my chickens and while they're moist, they're nothing like the supermarket ones. I've only ever brined a chicken once and while it was nice, it's not the sort of thing I would do regularly because of the hassle - remembering to defrost the chicken well advance so that it can brine overnight. I never remember to take it out of the freezer 2 days before I need it! In fact, I don't really plan my meals that far in advance either. It's think about it while I'm having breakfast then get it out of the freezer.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 23, 2016 05:37AM
Brining definitely helps, and yes it is a bit of a pain unless you're super organised. From time to time I remember to brine chicken breasts when I'm going to bbq them and it helps a LOT with retaining moisture.

I usually brine the Christmas turkey in a rubbish bag lined chilly bin -- that is a pain in the a$$ but the end result is fabulous.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 26, 2016 05:16AM
Jenna can you explain please exactly how you brine a turkey or chicken.I have never heard or seen the technique done. Thanks
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 26, 2016 10:17PM
Below is the recipe I use to brine chicken. I got it from the TradeMe Community Boards but don't know where it originally came from. It does make the chicken moist and tender without being salty. It seems like magic but to me, it's a lot of trouble for cooking one small chicken to be eaten just by me. Maybe I will think of it when I have friends over for dinner.

1/3 cup salt
1 cup boiling water
4 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tablespoons honey
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 large rosemary sprigs
6 bay leaves
a bunch of thyme
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
6 cups cold water

To make brine, put all ingredients except cold water in a large non-corrosive bowl with the boiling water and stir until salt and honey have dissolved. Mix in 6 cups of cold water (or use half cold water and half ice cubes to cool the brine more quickly). Allow to cool completely.

Place whole chicken, or spatchcocked chicken, in brine and leave for 4 hours in the fridge, turning after two hours if it is not fully submerged.

After four hours take out of the brine, dry and keep refrigerated for at least another four hours to allow the cure to spread evenly. Will keep 24 hours if necessary.

Dry before roasting or barbecuing.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 27, 2016 12:15AM
Thank you Lorna I had never heard of it.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 27, 2016 04:34AM
Here is a table that I've used for a few years -- it is in US measurements and the table did not cut and paste well - but you should be able to make it out and google can deal with the conversions if needed. You don't have to add the aromatics that Lorna's recipe uses unless you want to.. for me brining is simply about moisture, not adding flavour. When you have brined meat though, don't add any extra salt when you put it in the oven, and check any pan sauces before adding salt as the juices from the meat will be saltier than usual.

The ratios can be scaled up and down too - such as if you only have 2 boneless breasts you probably don't want to make 2L of brine - so just use 1L water, 1/8C salt, for 30-60 minutes.


Salt in the brine not only seasons the meat, but also promotes a change in its protein structure, reducing its overall toughness and creating gaps that fill up with water and keep the meat juicy and flavorful.


BENEFITS OVER SALTING: Works faster than salting; can make lean cuts such as chicken breast or pork tenderloin juicier than salting since it adds, versus merely retains, moisture.

CONS: Can inhibit browning on skin or meat exterior; requires fitting a brining container in fridge.


1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) 1/2 to 1 hour 2 quarts 1/2 cup
2 whole chickens (3 1/2 to 4 pounds each) 1/2 to 1 hour 3 quarts 3/4 cup
4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (whole breasts, split breasts, whole legs, thighs, and/or drumsticks) 1/2 to 1 hour 2 quarts 1/2 cup
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/2 to 1 hour 2 quarts 1/4 cup
1 turkey (12 to 17 pounds) 6 to 12 hours 2 gallons 1 cup
1 turkey (18 to 24 pounds) 6 to 12 hours 3 gallons 1 1/2 cups
1 bone-in turkey breast (6 to 8 pounds) 3 to 6 hours 1 gallon 1/2 cup
4 bone-in rib loin pork chops (12 ounces each), 1 1/2 inches thick 1 hour 1 1/2 quarts 3 tablespoons
1 pork roast (3 to 6 pounds) 1 1/2 to 2 hours 2 quarts 1/4 cup
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 27, 2016 04:43AM
I'm going to add a contrary view. I've tried brining chickens and decided that I preferred them roasted without brining. Two reasons: the extra water dilutes the flavour of the meat, and the extra salt means that any sauce made in the roasting pan is likely to be too salty. And I like salty foods.

I find that as long as a chicken isn't overcooked and is rested a proper length of time it will be juicy and tender.

I haven't cooked brined turkey as it's not very suitable for a small household and we prefer other meats at Christmas.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 27, 2016 07:27AM
Thanks Jenna and tpandav I can now understand what it is.I am going to brine a large chicken that I have in my freezer that I had bought on special a little while ago.I bought 2 or 3 and when I cooked one of them it had an unusual, dry,almost turkey flavour.I prefer chicken to turkey.I love the ready to roast chickens that come in the cook-in-the-bag types.They are expensive but full of flavour. Probably not good for us.If my brining efforts work out this would be perfect for these big chickens for christmas, because they are very bland in flavour.Roast chicken is a safe bet for large families at christmas.I will experiment now.
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 28, 2016 05:25PM
I'm so stuffed when I get home these days, I just don't have the energy to work out costings - sorry! hat oc cho
Re: Supermarket cooked chickens
August 30, 2016 02:48AM
Just on the cooked chicken thread...
I bought yesterday the Asian style cooked chicken. I just bought a pre packaged chopped soy half for $7. It tasted great and was a bit different. I added to to Teriyaki noodles for my kids, they loved it.

I was the only non Asian one queuing up - If you have an Asian supermarket nearby, don't be shy, get yourself in there.

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