At Costco, the famous rotisserie chicken is the deal to end all deals. For just $4.99, shoppers at the members-only warehouse club can get a whole, fully-cooked bird perfect for meal prepping, easy dinners, or covertly devouring in the Costco parking lot.
Like with its famously cheap food court hotdog, Costco is firmly committed to keeping these roasted chickens remarkably affordable. In 2015, Costco’s chief financial officer Richard Galanti said that the company was willing to sacrifice “$30 million, $40 million a year on gross margin by keeping it at $4.99,” according to CNN.
While these chickens win major points for their price and convenience, getting them ready to eat isn’t exactly a breeze. If you’ve ever purchased a Costco rotisserie chicken, or any rotisserie chicken for that matter, you’re likely familiar with the tedious and messy process of harvesting all of the meat from the bird.
The internet is rife with tips and tricks on how to strip the meat from rotisserie chickens, but there is one viral tutorial that comes straight from an actual Costco employee. In an Instagram video with nearly 60,000 likes, posted by creator @abountifulkitchen, a Costco worker demonstrated how to break down a chicken like a pro in mere seconds. The speedy technique takes on a mirthful quality, thanks to the oom-pah song “Chicken Dance” playing in the background.
Just be warned–you’ll have to get your hands a little dirty, if you follow this expert method, but it is undeniably efficient.
Start by taking the ties off the legs and then slide your thumbs between the thighs and breast meat, then “pop those bones out of their sockets” to completely separate the thighs from the chicken, the employee said.
Next, peel back the skin on what’s left of the bird, slide your thumbs up the breastbone, and pull with your hands to separate the breasts from the chicken. Be careful during this step, because according to the Costco worker, “there’s a couple of teeny tiny bones in there you gotta watch out for.” The chicken will be mostly bare at this point, so customers can use their fingers to pick off any remaining pieces of poultry.
Once all the meat is off the bone, Costco shoppers can eat as is or repurpose the protein in a myriad of different meals. For some low-calorie comfort, check out our recipe for a healthier chicken pot pie that calls for pre-cooked chicken. Or, for a lighter option this summer, replace the grilled chicken in our simple, protein-rich chicken and avocado salad with rotisserie chicken shreds.