The secret recipe behind Costco’s chicken bakes -- revealed

If you’re not at Costco for the great shopping deals, you’re there for the food court.

And we’re not judging you. The menu items may be your typical concession stand grub—hot dogs, pizza, sausages—but for some reason, they’re way tastier probably should be. Hot food sold at a big box store automatically lends itself to pretty low expectations, so anything edible with a bit of flavor would satisfy hungry shoppers. Costco’s food court? Cheap and surprisingly delicious.

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Items to never get at Costco
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Items to never get at Costco

Protein powder, bars, or supplements

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Produce

A Costco worker from Idaho, an employee from Hawaii, and a worker from Minnesota, who added, "While our produce department is one of the best in the business, I personally don't eat veggies fast enough to buy in bulk."

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Tires

A Costco worker who just said they'd been working for the chain "too long"

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Packages of meat

A Costco employee from California, who added, "It's too much for my household."

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Mac and cheese

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Fruits

A Costco employee from Florida, who added, "They go bad very quickly."

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Baked goods

A Costco worker from Iowa, who added that the "packaging is just too big."

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Condoms

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Shoes

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Sushi

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Kirkland brand clothing

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The gallon-sized mayonnaise jars

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Salad

A Costco employee who's worked in 10 states, who added that, "I don't eat the huge quantity fast enough, then it rots. Waste of money."

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Any food you haven't tried before
 
A Costco employee from Illinois, who added, "Because then I'd have a six month supply."

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One of their most famous menu items is the chicken bake, the object of an inexplicable cult following. It looks like a cross between a stromboli and an oversized mozzarella stick, but it’s what’s inside that really matters: chicken, Caesar salad dressing, bacon bits, and tons of cheese. More importantly, they’re not to be confused with Costco’s other equally famous poultry. Find out everything you need to know about Costco’s $4.99 rotisserie chickens.

Costco also sells frozen chicken bakes that you can make at home, but according to former Costco employee and Reddit user ricecracker420, those are nothing compared to the ones at the food court. The user also revealed the secret recipe for real food court chicken bakes.

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Shocking Costco food court secrets
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Shocking Costco food court secrets

The most popular item on the menu? The legendary Costco hot dog.

"There's something about a buck fifty that people really love," said the employee. 

But at 552 calories and 32 g of fat, you may want save this food court staple for special occasions. 

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Another discontinued item that Costco often receives questions about? The chocolate-dipped ice cream bar with almonds. We hate to break it to you, but it's probably never coming back.

"I think it might have been too expensive for the amount we give. That's what happened with gelato anyway," the employee said.

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Everyone knows that the best churro is one that is hot and freshly made. If customers don't think they're getting the best churro their money can buy, don't be afraid to ask for a new one!

The employee said, "I learn to check when we're running low on churros and wait for a new pan to come out," adding, "I recommend checking on them right before you shop and seeing the changes when you come back. My favorite is when they run out of churros and you wait for five minutes or so, then when they pull them off the pan, it is a hundred percent brand new."

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The beloved berry smoothie was recently replaced by a different fruit smoothie -- and there's a perfectly logical (and healthy!) explanation for it. 

"Corporate thought the benefits outweighed the negatives in this situation. The new smoothie has a lot of better benefits in it -- less sugar, less calories, nothing but real fruit and fruit juice, and four servings of fruit in each smoothie." the employee said.

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Have you ever found yourself blotting away all the excess oil on your incredibly cheesy Costco pizza? There's a reason for that. 

The anonymous employee revealed that the amount of oil used in making the pizza is "too much." In fact, upper management monitors employees to make sure they're using enough oil. 

"When you don't use the corporate requested amount because you think it's too much and corporate notices? You use more oil to avoid being in trouble. Some managers overcompensate and use a quarter cup of oil+ when making them."

Yikes! Talk about a heart attack on a plate. 

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And of course we're dying to know what the pizza is made out of!

"It's made with love," the employee jokingly said.

Another Reddit user who claims to be a former employee also chimed in: "I don't know what's in the sauce, it came to us prepared, as did the cheese mix . . . I know it was like 85 percent mozzarella and 15 percent provolone when I worked there."

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There's no denying that Costco's chicken bake has a massive cult following. Surprisingly, the food court hit is pretty simple to make! After flattening out a lot of pizza dough, employees mix in chicken breast strips, mozzarella cheese, bacon and caesar dressing. All these ingredients are rolled up into the dough.

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And if you prefer no bacon in your chicken bake, you'll have to come in earlier in the day when employees are making it. 

"Sometimes the employees are running little bit late and they'll make them during the day, but you'd have to catch them before they mix the cheese and bacon. Which is hard to do," the employee said. "You could always call ahead a day and ask. I'm sure they'd oblige."

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Surprisingly, employees don't get a discount at the food court. However, they do receive a free executive membership ($120 a year), which is also a pretty impressive perk!

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Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • Caesar salad dressing
  • Precooked chicken breast
  • Bacon bits
  • Shredded cheese (or as ricecracker420 calls it, “pizza cheese”)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven (ricecracker420 says to bake it at 600˚F, but many standard ovens max out at 500˚F. If yours does, preheat to 350˚F.)
  • Lightly brush the inside of the dough with the Caesar dressing
  • Add chicken, bacon, and cheese
  • Roll dough into a tube and pinch the ends closed
  • Brush dough with more dressing
  • Top with more cheese
  • Bake in 600˚ oven for 6 minutes, or 350˚ oven until golden brown

There you have it! Now you can indulge in Costco’s chicken bakes even when you’re not out on a shopping trip. That’s not the only insider tip from the superstore giant. Check out these 15 secrets Costco employees aren’t telling you.

[Source: The Kitchn]

The post The Secret Recipe Behind Costco’s Chicken Bakes—Revealed appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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