Is That Rotisserie Chicken in the Market a Good, Paleo Option?

rotisserie chicken

You’ve had a rough day at the office.  You didn’t make the time to grocery shop, or prepare any food so you know you’ve got to stop somewhere en route back home, as the alternative is going home to an empty fridge.

Ah!  That neatly packaged, rotisserie chicken you saw at the grocery store last time looked great!

Why not just quickly grab one of those, some salad greens and create a perfect dinner?

Well, there’s no reason not to do that… as long as you don’t mind eating plastic.

Think about it.

Not only do you not know where that chicken came from (most don’t even state whether they’re cage-free or not, which might be only slightly less inhumane than battery cages.  We need to make sure our poultry is pastured, not just cage-free), you also don’t know how long it’s been sitting under heat, in plastic containers.

The number one step, according to, in reducing exposure to BPA is “Don’t cook food in plastic containers or use roasting/steaming bags; the plastic residues may leach into food when heated in a regular or microwave oven.”

Feeling bummed because it seemed so simple?

Easy answer, even for the busiest of us.

Do you think you can find three extra minutes in the morning?   Chop an onion.  Put a raw pastured chicken in a slow cooker.  Add more stuff if you want (garlic, fresh herbs, other veggies).  Press slow-cook start. Leave for the office.

Not kidding. That’s all it takes to ensure a lovely, completely Paleo, plastic-free dinner will await you upon your return after a long day.

  • John C. Key MD

    Ah the dilemma. Not everyone has ready access to pasture-raised chicken whether it be organic or not. The carbohydrate content of the rotisserie chicken, even considering “unhealthy” marinades is mathematically small; The BPA/other plastics risk is vanishingly small. So what’s the average grocery store customer to do? Grab the rotisserie chicken with all its flaws, or opt for Hamburger Helper or a faster-food meal?

    I think the answer is go with the rotisserie chicken, skinned. It’s better than the alternatives. It is great, indeed optimal, to do grass fed/pastured, organic, non-GMO whenever possible but when it is not possible, go with what the meat case has to offer rather than going high carb/high GMO.

    I hope to see other comments agreeing with or refuting this opinion.

  • carolmurray

    l have actually asked for a fresh one that is still on the rotisserie cooking instead of one wrapped and they were very good about it..

  • Kim

    Thank you, John C. Key; I was rolling my eyes at this post… In Canada, where I live, pasture-raised chicken is vanishingly hard to find, and organic chicken is rarely available and punishingly expensive. Articles like this, that focus on the perfect rather than the good, discourage many families from trying to eat a whole-foods diet because it seems impossible. A pre-cooked chicken is a MUCH better choice for a busy person/family than many other convenient options, such as fast food. Paired with a salad, a sweet potato, or even some reheated frozen vegetables, and you have a fast dinner that is nutritious and quick to the table.

  • Janknitz

    A few thoughts:
    1. It doesn’t take that much time or clean up to REMOVE the chicken from the plastic package to a real plate or pan and heat it from there. It does reduce the evil somewhat.
    2. Pastured chicken sounds lovely, but when I can get a store bought roast chicken for $6.99 vs nearly THIRTY dollars for a raw pastured chicken that then has to be cooked . . . I’m totally on board with the idea of pastured chicken and I understand why the cost so much, but it’s just not possible to spend that much.
    3. My personal compromise is an organic chicken (I like the ones from Trader Joe’s). But I’m not so good at planning ahead to use the slow cooker. Fortunately, we invested in an electric pressure cooker this year, and it’s been a godsend. I can throw the chicken in the electric pot with the onion, garlic and whatever else, press a button, and an hour later I have a delicious bird. That doesn’t take too much longer than running to the store and I do feel better about the quality.

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