Many folks grab a rotisserie chicken as a quick last-minute dinner decision. My investigation into these chickens shows that they can be a good financial decision dependent upon where you’re purchasing them and the net weight. Nutritionally they are higher in sodium than a home roasted chicken or comparable sized single-person frozen entrees or most restaurant meals. Depending upon the rest of your meals that day, the rotisserie chicken may quickly put you over the recommended daily amount of sodium.
It’s easy to roast a chicken at home if you have two hours. The “active” time needed is minimal. When you choose “do-it-yourself” you have control over the type of seasonings and the amount of added sodium. In addition to the sodium content, some people say that the seasoning in a rotisserie chicken may add “too much” flavor for some palates. You’re in control of this when you do-it-yourself.
Plan on roasting a chicken on the weekend when you’re home doing other chores. Refrigerate the whole chicken for a meal or two during the week. Financially this could save you money, especially if you can find the roasting chickens or whole fryers on sale. Another thought, while you have the oven on to bake the chicken, what else could be cooking at the same time? Baked potatoes? Baked squash? Baked apples?
Planning and preparing meals ahead can save you both time and money. Encourage the kids to help. This also gives them a “buy in” for what is being served, they may be more inclined to eat it if they helped plan and prepare it.
Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS
Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University