BBQ chicken on the run

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Monday, 16 March 2009.
Tagged: eating out, fast food, healthy eating, junk food, take-away

BBQ chicken on the run

You're running late on your way home and there's nothing for dinner! The easiest thing to do is to grab a barbecued chook along with a few roast potatoes and a tub of cole slaw or salad. It's hot, tasty and looks more like a healthy meal than pizza, nuggets or laksa. But how healthy is it really?

Hard to generalise

The rotisseried chook - that handy stand-by for busy families - is hard to make a nutritional judgment on. Individual chicken shops serve it differently. Some render it fairly oily thanks to the extra basting that's ladled over during cooking. Others let the fat drip away to give you a drier less greasy offering.

If you're lucky enough to live near a Portuguese char-grilled chicken outlet, you'll be able to get those crispy flattened semi-boned chickens that are delightful to eat - a lot less fatty than the standard barbecued chooks.

Sucking the chicken meat off the bones, including the charred bits, is a favourite - even if char-grilling at high temperatures creates nasty carcingens associated with cancer.

Whichever chicken you buy, its one big advantage is that you can pull away the skin. You then remove most of the salt (which is sprinkled on the outside) and a lot of the fat. And if there's any meat leftover, you end up with nice cold chicken pieces for a sandwich the next day.

I like chicken shops because there are always salads to team up with your chicken, unlike other fast food. So please order two salads with your chicken - and you'll raise your dinner to a new level of nutrition stardom! I like a tabbouleh plus a tangy Greek salad - just seems to hit the spot.

  • Do you like the local barbecued chook spot?
  • Do you have somewhere good that you can let others know about? I'd love you to share the good spots with our community if you have time below - add a comment.
Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby knows nutrition! She is an accredited nutritionist, food commentator, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements. It draws together a lifetime of advice and gives you all you need to know to eat right! It's a complete A to Z. A handy desk go-to reference.