Rotisserie chicken consumed on central campus draws passionate crowd


Daniel Jacobi II

Jagger Muhlig breaks off the sections of the rotisserie chicken he is going to eat before 3 p.m. in Central Campus on Mar. 9, 2023.

An empty table, chair and gong sat on the snowy lawn of central campus, with a crowd of students patiently waiting for “The Chicken Man.”

At 3 p.m. Thursday, Jagger Muhlig, a junior in mechanical engineering, ate a rotisserie chicken in 10 minutes and 47 seconds. Along with a Hy-Vee chicken, his meal included two water bottles, a bottle of ketchup and a bottle of barbecue sauce.

“It seemed like something that people would want,” Muhlig said. “I don’t believe I’m wrong.”

Muhlig arrived at the scene with a bodyguard and duffle bag, which carried the infamous rotisserie chicken. When he took his seat, the crowd began shouting “F*ck that chicken up,” “I’ve waited all week for this” and “Cyclone power.” As he waited until 3 p.m., the scheduled time of the show, he carefully cut his future meal.

He opted for a fast-paced playlist, including heavy metal and rock. Playing on his AirPods were “Through the Fire and the Flames” by Dragon Force, “Deadly Sleep” by Iron Savior and “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by Scorpions.

Before long, one attendee initiated a snowball fight, which escalated into a full snowball war. Outrage sparked as one snowball hit Muhlig’s nearly completed chicken, knocking a piece — which was still eaten — to the ground.

“Chicken with snow on it, absolutely disgusting and almost made me throw up three times,” Muhlig said. “That stuff was rough, so I was a little peeved about the snowballs. I didn’t actually care if they hit me or not, just not the chicken.”

While some would feel uncomfortable eating in front of a large group of people, Muhlig was only focused on the chicken.

“The people right in front of me were all my friends who helped me set it up, so it was fun to see them all smiling and laughing,” Muhlig said.

After finishing the entire rotisserie chicken, Jagger Muhlig jumps on top of a giant snowball that was made while he was eating in Central Campus on Mar. 9, 2023. (Daniel Jacobi II)

As he ate, a large snowball was being rolled in the background. Once Muhlig completed his task, he used the snowball as a throne as the crowd cheered for his success. Some attendees wanted to shake his hand, some asked for autographs and one took his water bottle as a souvenir.

“I think this really encompasses the culture of Iowa State University,” said Liz Dougherty, a sophomore in biochemistry.

Residents of Barton Hall, where Muhlig is an RA, planned and promoted the occasion through signs and social media posts. According to Muhlig, it took 15 people and five hours to create and hang signs.

“He asked for assistance placing posters, writing with Expo and chalk wherever we can on campus,” said Ellie Lashier, a sophomore in piano performance and religious studies. “We’ve also been controlling the hype on Yik Yak. There’s been a lot of thought and passion that went into this, and we’re really excited to host this.”

Muhlig plans to eat a rotisserie chicken again next year on a Thursday at 3 p.m., but is worried about expenses, as this event cost him $80.

“Thanks to all the haters; I couldn’t have done it without you,” Muhlig said.