The Only Grocery Store Rotisserie Chicken Good Enough For Jean-Georges

Jean-Georges Vongerichten is one of the greatest chefs in the world. His flagship restaurant, Jean-Georges, in Manhattan, is the recipient of two coveted Michelin stars, and the French chef has a total of nearly 50 restaurants across the globe. But it turns out, Vongerichten is much like any home cook when he prepares meals at home, and there are times when cooking from scratch just isn't an option. He told Food & Wine that, in such situations, he relies on a store-bought rotisserie chicken to anchor his meal. In New York City where he lives in the West Village, his options for such an item certainly aren't limited, but his go-to source is none other than Eataly, the Italian grocer that offers some of the best foods you can find, from dried goods, to meats, cheeses, produce, and cookies, as well as ready-made-foods and sit-down restaurants.

Eataly's Rosticceria counters roast organic, local chickens throughout the day and if the aroma of the succulent meat doesn't draw you in, the browned, crispy skin covering the juicy meat probably will. It's certainly good enough for Vongerichten, a man whose gastronomical knowledge and prowess are probably worth paying attention to.

Local, organic chickens appeal to the famous chef

While roasting a chicken at home is one of the simplest things to cook, picking up a ready-made one is a huge time saver. Serve it up with a no-fuss vegetable side dish, a crusty loaf of bread, and a good bottle of wine, and you've got a wonderful dinner, arguably as delicious as homemade (or even tastier if the bird comes from Eataly, like Jean-George Vongerichten's do). The appeal of these roasted chickens that will set you back just over $16 as of 2024 could lie in the quality of the farms and surroundings in which they are raised. The chickens that Eataly roasts and sells come from farms that are near the store location, and are raised without antibiotics or artificial hormones.

The Flatiron branch of Eataly sources its birds from upstate New York's Cascun farm while the downtown location gets its chickens from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. But not all of Eataly's shops have a roastery, so before you shrug off your homemade dinner in lieu of an Eataly chicken, check your closest store's website to make sure it carries them. As of early 2024, there are nine branches of the grocer in the United States with several others peppered around the world in places like Italy, Canada, Istanbul, France, Sweden, and Japan.

Vongerichten doesn't waste any of the bird

There is no doubt that Eataly's roasted chickens do run on the pricier side, compared to places like Costco, which sells its birds for less than five dollars a pop, so if you do scoop one up, get the maximum use out of it, just as Jean-George Vongerichten does. Once he's used what he needs for a meal, he uses the bones to make chicken soup. Boiling the chicken carcass will release every bit of chicken — not to mention tons of flavor from the bones themselves. You could make soup, too, or simply make stock to use in things like risotto, sauces, gravies, pot pies, and curries. You could also make a rich bone broth for drinking as it's packed full of nutrients when made with vegetables and aromatics.

Vongerichten is known, in large part, for his haute cuisine in his restaurants, but he's also shared several approachable recipes that include some you could make with an Eataly roasted chicken, like chicken salad with apples and Roquefort. Really, when it comes to a roast chicken, the possibilities are nearly endless. Take the meat and make chicken tacos, enchiladas, paninis with gruyere and sautéed wild mushrooms, or a delightful chicken panzanella salad with honey-lemon vinaigrette and feta cheese.