We all do it. We’re in a hurry, we don’t want to spend the money to go out to eat, and we’re trying to be moderately healthy about our dinner choices…What is there to pick from, except (yet again) the ubiquitous rotisserie chicken??
I can’t stand B-O-R-I-N-G supper. Even if it’s got to be quick and healthy, there are only so many times that I can eat chicken, mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli with spray butter. They’ve gone to the trouble to make all kinds of amazing sounding flavors like Mojo, Barbecue, and Ancho cherry, as well as lemon pepper but, is it just me– or do they all taste about the same?
I have an idea: I’m going to give you my top 10 ideas for things to do with a supermarket rotisserie chicken, and then I’m hoping that everyone reading this will write in with their best ideas. I would love to get to 100! Will you help? I’ll get you started:
1. Greek Chicken Pitas with Watermelon: This is a delicious recipe from my friends at the National Watermelon Promotions Board! Top a warmed pocketless Pita bread with pulled chicken meat, Greek olives, sliced cucumber, red onions, and chopped watermelon which has been drained on paper towels. Top with crumbled feta cheese, tzatziki sauce, freshly cracked pepper and Greek seasoning. YUM. Get the recipe here!
2. Chicken Fried Rice: This recipe works great with leftover rice–even better than with fresh! Saute chopped carrots and onions at a very high temperature. Add in scrambled eggs, pulled and chopped chicken meat, grated ginger, scallions, and broccoli. Add rice (I sneak in brown rice and my family never knows because of the soy sauce). Season with teriyaki sauce and a hint of sesame oil (this is the magic ingredient), and serve!
3. Chicken Soup: This one is good for the day after eating a chicken, when there is still some meat left on the bone. Pick remaining meat and set aside. Cover bones with water and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Strain completely. (You can stop here and just freeze your broth for recipes later, or you can go on and make a soup). For good old fashioned chicken noodle soup, sweat chopped onion, carrots, and celery over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Cover with broth and add chicken meat, cooked pasta or rice, and freshly chopped herbs such as cilantro and parsley, or basil, thyme and oregano. For a chilly day sometimes I will add dumplings to make it super-hearty.
4. Chicken Enchiladas: This is one of my favorites. Mix together equal parts Frontera Grill Enchilada Sauce (available at Super Target and World Market) and Bertolli Alfredo sauce. Lightly toss picked chicken meat with a little bit of the sauce mixture, chopped scallions and grated smoked gouda cheese. Stuff into corn tortillas. Pour sauce over rolled tortillas and top with more of the grated cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until heated through completely. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro to serve.
5. Thai Chicken Pizza: Buy some pizza dough, and use that pizza stone for a change!! 🙂 Top your pizza with Thai peanut sauce and 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese. Top with chicken meat, bean sprouts, chopped scallions, and shredded carrots. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 425 degrees. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts to serve.
6. Spinach & Chicken Salad: This could go any which way, but the key is in using really good greens. I like to wash them when I get home and chill them in the fridge for at least an hour, if not overnight. Then I add chopped hard boiled eggs, sliced pickled beets, crumbled goat cheese or gorgonzola, glazed walnuts, chopped apple, and Balsamic vinaigrette. (I make my vinaigrette with equal parts of high quality balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, with a touch of dijon mustard, blended into an emulsion).
7. Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas: Chop chicken meat very small and toss with Buffalo sauce. Add finely chopped scallions and grated Monterrey jack cheese and stuff into flour tortillas. Spray the outside of tortillas with cooking spray such as Pam, and cook on medium heat on an electric griddle. Serve with celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing.
8. Sopa Seca: Break up 1 package of spaghetti into 2 inch pieces. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil into the bottom of a 3 quart saucepot and add dry spaghetti. Stir to toss noodles in oil and toast slightly. Add 1 can diced Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chile, 3 T. pesto, 4 chopped scallions, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, 2 t. Cumin & 1 T. Achiote (a spice in the Spanish section). Add 6 cups of water and 3 cups of chicken meat. Cook until noodles have absorbed most of the liquid, but not all. Serve in bowls with a hunk of fresh bread to sop up the yummy juices!
9. Chicken Tostadas: Oven toasted tortillas topped with black or pinto beans and shredded chicken meat tossed with chile powder. Top with Monterrey Jack Cheese and bake until hot. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cilantro, and crisp lettuce.
10. Garlic-Q Chicken Club Sandwich: This amazing new product called Garlic-Q is found in the produce section at WalMart. Toasted hearty white bread topped with New York Cheddar Cheese, sliced chicken meat (or turkey) and Garlic-Q sauce. Served with crisp apple slices on the side… A-mazing!