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Rotisserie chicken virgin

So. I'm a vegetarian and my very dear friend has asked I pick up and bring a rotisserie chicken to a very informal get together the two of us are having at her place. Not my favorite idea but she won't be able to.

I've never bought one before!! I have to go to whole foods in the morning anyhow and I **think** that the chickens are still hot/warm when you buy them...? I figure I can ask the counter guy to pick me a good one...

So if I buy it at like 10am and don't want to make everyone ill, do I put it in the fridge when I get home? Even if its still warm?? Or let it sit on the counter until it cools off some? (Ugh- will my apartment smell like chicken?!?)
Trying to avoid a second trip to the store when I'm on my way to her place....


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  1. Absolutely you refrigerate it. As soon as you get it home...no waiting. A couple of hours on the counter opens the buffet line to every bacterium in range...several hours all but guarantees illness all around. If the rotisserie chicken is properly packaged, it shouldn't "smell up" your fridge. If you're concerned, stuff the container in a big brown paper bag before refrigerating.

    7 Replies
    1. re: mcsheridan

      While I agree that it should be refrigerated, I think saying "several hours all but guarantees illness all around" is a bit alarmist. If the chicken was cooked to a proper temp which I believe stores are more apt to do than individuals, then bacteria are killed. If they're killed, they can't come back to life.

      1. re: c oliver

        Bacteria can be reintroduced after a food Is safely and completely cooked, hence the precaution, and the need for refrigeration. I wouldn't want to eat a chicken that had sat out on the counter for 7-8 hours, even if it had been cooked to dry.

        1. re: mcsheridan

          Well, in that case, you wouldn't want to eat ANYTHING that has sat out for that long. Not just chicken.

          1. re: c oliver

            Quite so. Not unless it was shelf-stable, like Cheetos. :)

      2. re: mcsheridan

        So its ok to stick it in the fridge even if its still really warm?

      3. You should call ahead, many stores don't have the rotisserie chickens available at 10am. They might even reserve one for you to pick up later.

        2 Replies
        1. re: RelishPDX

          Excellent point; I hadn't even thought of that. Duh!

          1. re: RelishPDX

            Auugh! Totally didn't think of that! Thanks, I'll be sure to call before I leave my apt

          2. Yes they're warm when you buy them. If you're buying it in the morning to eat that night, put it in the fridge when you get home.

            1. Place in a cooler with ice packs, after it cools, then refrigerate it.

              1. I think it's a little odd that your friend wants an entire rotisserie chicken just for herself. If it's just the two of you, why can't she just have a meatless meal? It's not like she's going to eat the entire chicken in one sitting. Plus I think it's a little awkward to ask a vegetarian friend to pick up cooked meat for you -- it's one thing if you had offered, but to ask is weird.

                That being said, you may not be able to get a rotiserrie chicken at 10am -- depending on where you go, they probably would have them ready closer to lunchtime. when you do get it, just chill it in the fridge until it's time to go.

                4 Replies
                1. re: boogiebaby

                  I read that as OP and friend are 'hosting' a get together at the friend's place.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Ah ok. I read it as the two of them were getting together at the friend's place.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Yup. She has a much bigger apartment but we're sharing hosting duties- when i cook for the two of us (99% of the time its actually vegan) she always enjoys it.

                    2. Guess I'm in the minority here but I sometimes buy a rotisserie chicken during the day and leave it out on the counter for a few hours until dinner. I was just in Costco last week, around lunch time, bought a chicken, and we ate it for dinner. Nobody got sick and nobody has ever gotten sick.

                      I don't like re-heated roast chicken, and I'd rather eat it at room temp than when it goes from cold to hot.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: valerie

                        Some folks would be appalled that the 5X recipe for Bolognese sauce sat on the counter for about 36 hours before I packaged and froze :)

                      2. I take no position on the food safety issue.

                        I am just here to tell you that the Whole Foods rotisserie chicken sucks. On a good day.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Good to know. Do you like Costco's? I just roast at home a la Zuni.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Costco's is ok (not great, not bad), a bit too salty sometimes.

                            But I'd rather eat day-old Costco's than oven-fresh Whole Foods. Everyday, and twice on Sunday.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I am convinced that such things as rotisserie chicken are best gotten from someplace with no snooty pretensions whatsoever. Ralphs (Kroger) and Von's (Safeway) are okay, small local markets usually better. One of the best I've had came from a place that had gas pumps and sold lottery tickets.

                          2. re: ipsedixit

                            I should be surprised by this, but I'm really not. I think WF is overrated and overpriced most of the time. Wegmans, OTOH, has marvelous prepared foods, as does Kings. I can't speak to the rotisserie chicken in either place, though, 'cause the ones in the local A&P are just great. If I'm going to get one, that's the place.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I believe you, but just wouldn't be able to bring myself to buy a factory farmed bird- regardless of the fact i would never eat either one....

                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                I don't know about all of WF's poultry but they carry various of Mary's Chickens:


                            2. Update:
                              Thanks to everyone's help I called ahead and saved myself a second trip to the store.
                              Ultimately everything worked out great, i stuck the bird in the back of fridge in a paper bag and later that evening it just ended up shredded (by my friend) not rewarmed, and rolled into our summer rolls as well as being added to some of the sesame peanut noodle and cucumber dish.