The pros: Trader Joe's Spatchcocked Lemon Rosemary Chicken has a tasty finished product if you can put in the time. It's a timesaver if you forget to take care of things the night before.
The cons: You are actually expected to cook this. If you need dinner quickly, skip over this. This product needs an hour in the oven.
The verdict: For $14.36 for the one I picked up or $3.99 per pound, what you are getting here is a chicken that has a name that will make a middle school kid chuckle. It may even make you chuckle just a little bit. Yes, I teach middle school and my level of humor sophistication has gone from Masters degree to 8th grade. Goofy name aside, it actually means that the backbone has been removed and it's flattened as a result. This ensures even cooking, reduces cooking time overall, and really is the same as "butterflying."
Low brow humor aside, you get a thoroughly marinated chicken that all you need to do is pre-heat your oven and find a dish large enough to hold this bird. Mine was just over three pounds so it won't take a large pan to do the job. The directions should have given clarification as to what to do with the extra marinade, chicken liquid that came out of the bag. I poured everything out thinking it was all the yellowish marinade and realized it was quite pink. I poured out the excess and baked it which seems to be the right thing to do.
After spending an hour in the oven mine was at its proper safe temperature. I took it out and let it rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it. I started with the wings as that is the piece that can suffer from the most dryness. It was moist, tender, and all the herbs and flavorings here were very much part of the taste of this bird. The skin was not as crisp as some might like. That can be addressed by taking a paper towel and removing excess moisture before baking.
It was like having Sunday night dinner without much effort. You'll get the flavors of lemon, lime and orange here. In addition the herb combination compliments chicken well: garlic, rosemary, and parsley. Surprisingly, the parsley didn't burn in the oven and the lemon slices weren't overly charred. It was a nice tender chicken that could feed at least two people for dinner. A nice selection the refrigerated aisle. I'd buy this again.
Here is what you can visually expect if you purchase this item:
The package in the refrigerated section with the other marinated meats:
The nutritional information:
How to prepare:
Out of the package you get chicken halves that are still connected but evenly spaced to ensure even cooking:
Now, I thought it was all marinade that was going to come out of the bag. I went back to the directions to figure out what to do with the very pick hued chicken juice. It just says remove the chicken, so I poured out the "pink liquid chicken juice brine."
After baking for 60 minutes:
Would I buy this again? This is a yes for me. Now the ultimate convenience chicken will always be the rotisserie chicken, especially from Costco or BJs, but if you want Sunday night dinner flavor, this is a solid option.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!