The chicken comparison

EATING WELL

January 04, 1994|By Colleen Pierre, R.D. | Colleen Pierre, R.D.,Contributing Writer

The facts are finally out.

Inquiring minds attached to expanding middles want to know. Is rotisserie chicken really a low-fat treat? Or at least lower fat than fried? The fact that folks are asking these questions is a good sign.

We do keep hoping, though, that something that tastes this good could be good for us. We need the facts. And the facts have been slow in coming.

Kentucky Fried Chicken and Roy Rogers have published data on all their products, including rotisserie chicken. Two newer companies, Kenny Rogers Roasters and Boston Chicken have not.

So Tufts University Diet and Nutrition Letter did some testing on its own. Its researchers went to Boston and New York outlets of those last two, bought standard meals, and sent them off to a certified food laboratory to be analyzed for fat, calories and sodium. The newsletter cautions that these are ballpark estimates, not definitive values.

Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant to the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center and Vanderhorst & Associates in Baltimore.

Here are the findings compared to fried chicken.

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Calories .. .. Fat (gms) .. .. Sodium (mg)

Kentucky Fried (original recipe)

Center Breast .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 283 .. .. .. 15 .. .. .. .. .. 672

Wing .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 178 .. .. .. 12 .. .. .. .. .. 372

Thigh .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..294 .. .. .. 20 .. .. .. .. .. 619

Drumstick.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..146 .. .. .. .9 .. .. .. .. .. 275

Totals (half chicken with skin) .. .. 901 .. .. .. 56 .. .. .. .. 1938

Kentucky Fried Rotisserie Gold

White quarter w/ skin.. .. .. .. .. .. 335 .. .. .. 19 .. .. .. .. .. 1104

Dark quarter w/ skin .. .. .. .. .. .. 333 .. .. .. 24 .. .. .. .. .. 980

Total (half chicken with skin) .. .. ..668 .. .. .. 43 .. .. .. .. .. 2084

Total (half chicken w/out skin) .. .. .416 .. .. .. 18 .. .. .. .. .. 830

Roy Rogers Roasters

HTC White quarter w/ skin .. .. .. .. .. ..500 .. .. .. 29 .. .. .. .. .. 1450

Dark quarter w/ skin .. .. .. .. .. .. 490 .. .. .. 34 .. .. .. .. .. 1120

Total (half chicken w/skin) .. .. .. ..990 .. .. .. 61 .. .. .. .. .. 2570

Total (half chicken w/o skin) .. .. .. 380 .. .. .. 16 .. .. .. .. .. 830

Kenny Rogers Roasters

Half chicken with skin .. .. .. .. .. 753 .. .. .. 38 .. .. .. .. .. 598

Boston Chicken

Half chicken with skin .. .. .. .. .. 656 .. .. .. 39 .. .. .. .. .. 670

Keep an eye on the side dishes, too. Here are some unexpected

"fat traps":

Kentucky Fried

Biscuit .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... 220 .. .. .. 12 .. .. .. .. .. 530

Cornbread .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 228 .. .. .. 13 .. .. .. .. .. 194

Roy Rogers

Cornbread .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 310 .. .. .. 17 .. .. .. .. .. 260

Coleslaw .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 295 .. .. .. 25 .. .. .. .. .. 430

And some "Best Bets" for sides:

Boston Chicken

Cornbread .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 169 .. .. .. 3 .. .. .. .. .. 286

Sliced carrots .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .65 .. .. .. 2 .. .. .. .. .. 281

Mashed potatoes .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 195 .. .. .. 8 .. .. .. .. .. 518

Squash .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 97 .. .. .. 4 .. .. .. .. .. 52

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