Taste: In Search of … Rotisserie Chicken

With all the present-wrapping and family drama in your holiday future, a rotisserie chicken from the local supermarket's prepared foods section is an easy way to save some time — and sanity. We blind-tasted eight to find the best bird, rating them from 5 (your guests will never know it's store-bought) to 1 (avoid like the avian flu).

Acme, $6.99
“Plump and juicy,” with “good roasted flavor” and “dark and crispy” skin.
Rating: 5

Wegmans, $4.99
“Salty,” “greasy in a good way,” with “very good chicken flavor.” It “tastes like Mom's.”
Rating: 4

Genuardi's, $6.99
“Buttery flesh” and “sweet, sticky, crispy skin,” but “slightly over-seasoned.”
Rating: 4

Super Fresh, $5.99
“Decent, well-spiced flavor but very gristly and fatty,” and the “skin is not crisp enough.”
Rating: 3

ShopRite, $5.99
“Needs a flavor boost.” There's “not enough seasoning” and a “slight chemical flavor.” “Meat is a bit mealy.”
Rating: 2

Trader Joe's, $4.99
“Gummy meat” and “slimy skin.” And it's “way too salty.”
Rating: 1

Whole Foods, $8.99
“Completely dried-out meat. The flesh actually crumbles,” and there's “no flavor whatsoever.”
Rating: 1

Pathmark, $5.99
With an “off, fishy flavor,” it “doesn't taste like chicken.”
Rating: 1