Use This Hack To Cut Your Costco Rotisserie Chicken Quickly

There are hidden treasures that no one talks about, but Costco most certainly isn't one of them. The members-only wholesale retail juggernaut carries items that have actual cult followings, and Costco fans are often freaking out about new products in the Costco-centric corners of social media. And all of that is before the esteemed Costco food court even comes in play.

Fast-food chains are often simple enough to condense into one key product, like McDonalds' Big Mac or Burger King's Whopper. This is usually far more difficult with big-box retail stores, which carry thousands upon thousands of products, and serve customers from all walks of life with radically differing tastes. Not so with Costco. Their unbelievably delicious $4.99 Rotisserie Chicken is the stuff of legends, and as Winsight Grocery Business notes, the company sold an astounding 101 million of these tasty poultry treats in 2020 alone. That's downright amazing, and seeing as Costco has clearly optimized their signature chicken dish in every possible way, it's almost impossible to imagine how one could improve it.

Well, the chicken itself is tasty as it is, but you can always optimize your ability to get it from the spit to your plate as quickly as possible. Let's take a look at the handy hack that allows you to cut your Costco chicken quickly.

Removing the wishbone is the key

Any devoted fan of chicken dishes is probably familiar with the wishbone, the Y-shaped thing where the neck turns to breast. It's famously handy for making wishes, especially if one of your wishes happens to be the ability to carve a Costco rotisserie chicken as quickly as possible.

The trick to cutting Costco rotisserie chicken — or any rotisserie chicken, really — as efficiently as possible comes courtesy of comfort food specialist Rachael Ray; her Rachael Ray magazine has posted a handy hack for turning the rotisserie chicken from a complete bird to a plate (or a few) full of deliciousness in no time. The trick here is simply to locate the wishbone, use a knife to make a tiny cut behind it, and remove it.

So, what's the big idea? Why should you take the extra step to manhandle a perfectly good wishbone? Turns out, it's the only thing that prevents you from removing the entirety of the breast meat in one succulent piece, meaning less waste and way easier carving conditions. "Run your fingers along the backbone and under the breast meat to remove the breast in one piece," Rachael Ray magazine advises. Who knew that Costco rotisserie chicken could be even more handy and economical?

Other handy tricks to carve Costco rotisserie chicken

Now, let's say that you want to carve your delicious Costco rotisserie chicken at the dinner table, and feel that unexpected rummaging around the bird's innards to remove a tiny bone might cause comment. In that case, you might feel inclined to use the classic guide to carving chicken (via Food), which might cause slightly more waste, but still does the job — and is visually impressive enough to get a nod from even the grumpiest in-law. 

It all starts with pulling the leg, and making a cut between it and the rest of the bird. After that, pull the two apart enough to make another cut that separates them. Then after the legs are done, remove the breasts separately by cutting along the breast bone — this is where the wishbone trick would help you greatly — and slice them up.   

The Spruce Eats, meanwhile, recommends an easy-to-remember carving order of thigh, leg, breast, and wing; they also remind you to cover the cut bits with aluminum foil to keep them hot if you're not going to carve them right onto the plates of your hungrily awaiting audience. 

Why are rotisserie chicken carving tricks so important?

Costco rotisserie chicken is delicious, and with its cheap price and sheer tastiness, no one's going to blame you if you want to feast on the stuff by eating it with your bare hands as you mainline your favorite Netflix show. However, when push comes to shove, it's always worth having a couple of handy carving tips in your back pocket for when you actually want to prep the bird before sitting down to enjoy it — which is well worth doing, daunting as it may seem. 

And rest assured, it really can be daunting. There are many cooking tasks that may seem incredibly difficult if you don't know the trick to them, and as Tablespoon notes, the act of carving a chicken is very much one of those. For the uninitiated, stripping a Costco rotisserie chicken from the whole thing to piles of delicious, ready-to-eat meat can seem super difficult — but if you take a moment to learn the basics, you'll figure it out in no time. And if you go just a little bit beyond by, say, employing the wishbone removal trick, what once seemed like an arduous task soon turns out to be a shockingly simple one.