The Best $5 Chicken Deal at Costco Isn't the Rotisserie Chicken—It's Even Better

If you love dark meat, pray for rain.



One of the biggest draws at Costco is the warehouse club’s famous $4.99 rotisserie chicken. The hot-and-ready chickens—which are currently undergoing a packaging change—weigh about 3 pounds and get dinner on the table quickly. They're also great to use for recipes that call for fully cooked chicken.

Despite some customer dissatisfaction last year over a “weird chemical taste,” a recent taste test of grocery store rotisserie chickens declared the Costco chicken the best of the bunch.

Is the rotisserie the best already-cooked chicken deal Costco offers? Not necessarily, especially if you’re a dark meat lover.

Costco’s $5 Rotisserie Chicken Leg Quarters 8-Pack

Costco’s whole rotisserie chickens have a shelf life of two hours. Chickens that don’t sell in two hours are pulled from the heated shelves, but they aren’t discarded because the chicken is still safe to eat. The meat is picked off the bones and used in other Costco products like chicken wraps. Sometimes, the store will sell the chicken meat shredded in the deli department.

One Redditor recently found that Costco also sells specific parts of the chickens that are pulled from the shelves in another way. They discovered 8-packs of cooked chicken leg quarters at their local Costco.

“Had never seen these before,” the Redditor posted, along with photos, “and guessing they must’ve just had a surplus of rotisserie chickens, as $4.99 seems a pretty darn good deal.”

The comments suggest that these packages of chicken leg quarters aren’t new but aren’t always available. Presumably, the store only sells them when there are enough leftover whole rotisserie chickens, and there isn’t a need for dark meat in any of the Costco products made from the chickens pulled after two hours.

“Shhh..don’t ruin the secret,” said one commenter in the thread. “I won’t buy the whole rotisserie chickens because I’m not a fan of the white meat, but I always look for these. I can usually snag one once a month, or so. They make for a week of easy lunches.”

“These are prized finds when available. Leg quarters are the best parts of the chicken,” said another.

One self-proclaimed Costco employee had a tip for knowing when Costco shoppers have the best chance of finding the packages of leg quarters:

“Your highest probability of obtaining this item is the day after a weekday storm,” they said. “You want slightly heavy rain or snow to hit, like 11-2 or 4-7pm. Even better if the weatherman said it was only a 50/50 chance. That way we are still pumping out chicken for the lunch/dinner rush.”

We understand that this means that shopper traffic will be slower due to the bad weather, leaving a surplus of rotisserie chickens that employees can cut up for other uses, like these leg quarters.

If you are lucky enough to snag a container of leg quarters, what can you do with them?

One commenter suggested heating them with barbecue sauce and eating them that way. You can also use the dark meat pulled from the bones in any recipe that calls for shredded chicken, such as Hot Shredded Chicken Sandwiches or Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip. Dark meat has more fat content than white meat, so the dish will have a higher fat content, but fat also equals flavor, so the dish may end up even yummier. 

Read the original article on All Recipes.