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Quickest, most delicious dish to prepare with a rotisserie chicken?

OK, so I sketched out a meal plan this week (using my new obsession pepperplate: http://www.pepperplate.com/) and my whole plan went off the rails when my grocery delivery service delivered two of my key proteins for the week rock-solid-frozen instead of fresh. I've had to swap in my quick pantry meals (and order pizza one night) to take place of the meals I had planned on cooking on Sunday and use as lunches and leftovers later this week. I won't have time to do any real cooking until tomorrow night.

Tonight is my biggest crunch night of the week. I basically have a half hour to get my toddler fed and out the door for a class we take every Weds evening. That's a half hour to prepare dinner AND feed it to him. And clean him up.

So, I thought I'd swing by the grocery store on my way home and pick up a rotisserie chicken. Of course, I could just hack it up and we could eat it as roast chicken, but that's kind of boring. What else can I do with a rotisserie chicken that is delicious and really, really fast? I mean FAST.

(P.S. I will probably just feed my toddler shredded chicken. So this dish, whatever it is, will likely just be for my husband and me. Or mostly just me, since I'm the only one in the household who finds a hunk of meat boring.)

~TDQ

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  1. I frequently buy rotisserie chickens and immediately salvage the meat while it is warm, and it provides a variety of options, ranging from versions of chicken salad. My protestant version has grape quarters and pecans and tarragon, my Mediteranean has chopped hard boiled eggs and mashed anchovies and cilantro, my Italian has olives, capers, and sun dried tomatos, and I do a curry version. All these summery chicken salads are great on avocado halves or starburst tomatos.

    Of course, you can do quick chicken fajitas, or club sandwiches. I love those rotisserie chickens.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Another variant: use the chicken instead of ground meat in larb.

      1. re: Veggo

        Oh! I love the idea of a quick chicken salad served in an avocado half!

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          Chicken and avocado is a marriage from heaven. The trickiest part is having the correctly ripened avocado when you most need it.

      2. I usually do one of two things
        1) egg fried rice with chicken and any old veg
        2) noodle soup, with the same chicken and any veg

        Here's an quick guide on how to make fried rice, in case you don't know already! It's very similar to how I make it because I don't have a wok burner. And I use freshly cooked rice just to save time. This will obviously only work if you have a rice cooker.
        http://justhungry.com/perfect-fried-r...

        The soup noodle is easier if you don't have a rice cooker (or really pressed for time and have no way to get the rice cooker to start before you get home). I remember you have mighty spice isn't it? I make the Szechuan Chicken and Cucumber Salad often with left overs, and just double the dressing and serve over noodles
        http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/r...

        And also this one in Bill Granger's Everyday Asian, also served over noodles
        http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/r...

        You don't have to use the veg says on the recipe, just use the recipe for the dressing or soup base.

        4 Replies
        1. re: lilham

          OOh! I do have some leftover rice I was planning on using for something else, but I would be okay making more for that other dish later and using the rice tonight!

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            If you have leftover rice already, go for Thai fried rice, yum! Theres a good easy recipe in seductions of rice, and I think Tamar Adler has one too.

            By the way - the tofu with tomatoes and coriander from seductions of rice is really good and takes all of 10 minutes- might be a good one for you. I have done it with canned diced tomatoes which worked fine and is a real timesaver.

            1. re: Westminstress

              If you have Thai curry paste already, a cheats Thai fried rice is to add the curry paste when frying your onions.

            2. re: The Dairy Queen

              Here's another thought (not chicken related) - rice with steamed veg, tofu and peanut sauce. Make the peanut sauce and prep the veggies the night before (or use preprepped). When you get home, start the rice, then all you need to do in your 15 minute window is steam veggies, warm the sauce, and pan fry the tofu.

          2. some things I do..

            chicken quesdillas

            chicken taco

            chicketti casserole

            chicken dumplins

            chicken and rice

            chciken and noodles

            barbque shedded chicken

            1. Doesn't it lose the point to save time if you have to take the chicken and make it into something else?

              Call me boring but in a pinch a side of Bob Evans mash (can't stand private label), some quick creamed spinach or sauteed kale, and quick pan chicken gravy and dinner! Yum!

              5 Replies
              1. re: Crockett67

                Well, the idea is to prepare something quick that won't bore me to death. A plain old piece of chicken is boring.

                Also, maybe to extend the chicken a little so we can have enough leftover for lunch tomorrow. As you know, those rotisserie chickens are small.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: Crockett67

                  I had to look up "Bob Evans mash" (I thought maybe that was a recipe by a person named Bob Evans...)--we don't have Bob Evans in MN! http://www.bobevans.com/

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Bob Evans has reheatable foods in the refrigerated section at the grocery. Their side dishes taste homemade. I make very good mashed potatoes, but some nights I'm just too hungry and too tired to want another pot to clean and more to chop.

                    1. re: meatn3

                      Huh. I've never heard of or noticed this brand before. I checked two local grocery stores online and one doesn't carry their products as far as I can tell and the other carries their mac and cheese. I'll keep an eye out, though, because those online inventories aren't always right.

                      ~TDQ

                  2. re: Crockett67

                    +1 for Crockett, jmho.
                    Simple is best and if there are leftovers, then I get creative. We love creamed spinach and a salad with bitter greens 'round here. Nice glass of a light red wine can't hurt either.

                  3. My initial ideas have already been mentioned, but I'll second (third?) them: fried rice or quesadillas.

                    1. Lightning fast - a chicken sandwich "recipe" from Nigel Slater in Real Fast Food.

                      Tear the chicken into thick strips and saute in butter briefly (you're just wanting to warm it through). Saute some sliced mushrooms. Keep both warm. Wilt some leaves in the butter - watercress, rocket, even lettuce works. Add mayo and chuck the chicken and mushrooms back into the gloop. Pile onto baguette or anything else you have that's crusty (not in the "recipe" but I usually "butter" one side of the bread with mustard).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Harters

                        Oh! We may have a winner here as I've got some mushrooms I need to use up. And I was just telling greedygirl I didn't find RFF inspiring because it was too sandwichy...

                        ~TDQ

                      2. I'm not sure you have the Mighty Spice cookbook, TDQ, but he has a Sichuan chicken salad that's quite fast and perfect for a rotisserie chicken. In fact I used left-over roast chicken when I made it. It's really just chicken with a delicious sauce. Swap out ingredients you have for those you don't. It will still be tasty. .Here's my report...simply reduce the heat levels if you think it's too spicy, although I don't remember it being such.

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8052...

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Gio

                          lilham just mentioned that same Szechuan chicken and cucumber salad recipe above. Sounds like a dish I need to add to my repertoire!

                          Here's a link to a recipe, though the Gio's description in her link is also sufficient http://nycitygirlcooks.wordpress.com/...

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            This looks perfect for my forthcoming roast chicken leftovers! I am putting it into pp now. thanks!

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Could someone who has the book kindly confirm whether the recipe at this link has the correct ingredients and proportions for the dressing? It looks a bit off to me ... No Sichuan pepper and 2T of red pepper flakes? Can that be right?

                              1. re: Westminstress

                                GOod catch. The recipe in my link can't be right. Gio mentions peppercorns in her blurb. The dangers of relying on some random blogger to paraphrase a recipe properly... Strange that she didn't even bother to mention she was subbing red pepper flakes for the peppercorn.

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  Westminstress: Actually, I re-read Gio's (and Breadcrumbs post above it) in the M.S. thread and see that the recipe does call for "mild chili flakes" . Gio used red pepper flakes, breadcrumbs used Thai bird chilis. It appears that the link above might not be so bad wrt the pepper flakes, but it appears she left out out the Szechuan Peppercorns, which I suspect is what makes this dish "Szechuan." I've posted a follow up request on the Mighty Spice thread since the folks in that thread likely all have copies of the book.

                                  ~TDQ

                          2. I study Japanese tea ceremony, and sensei showed me that an ordinary hunk of rotisserie chicken meat can be absolutely transformed with a dab of wasabi mayo. WOW. Not something the average North American has lying around in the pantry, but if you can find it, try it for sure - the meat definitely becomes not boring. And you can do some rice pretty quickly to go with it, and throw together a quick salad with an asian-style dressing.

                            I also think build-your-own soft tacos could have potential here if you're able to find some nice fresh corn tortillas - here is what we do: cut onion and bell pepper into strips and saute with some cumin & chili powder while you pull a bunch of meat off the bird & cut it into strips too - warm the tortillas in the oven or microwave, have some pre-shredded cheese to put on the table, salsa, and away you go.

                            When I'm really desperate for one of those uber-quick meals I usually resort to scrambled eggs & toast. Your idea of doing something with chicken is far more interesting IMO :-)

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: geekmom

                              From your mention of it not being something lying round the pantry, am I right in assuming the "wasabi mayo" is something more specific than simply mayo with wasabi stirred through it?

                              Mayo with wasabi stirred through, like mustard stirred through, would be relatively common.

                              1. re: Harters

                                Well, most of the average North Americans that I know don't keep wasabi mayonnaise in their pantries, but your mileage may vary... it's something that wouldn't be too hard to make yourself if you had some kewpie mayonnaise and decent-quality wasabi available, but the one my tea Sensei uses is pre-mixed and can only be found in specialty food shops or Japanese markets.

                                1. re: geekmom

                                  My local Walmart carries wasabi mayo, so I think that says somethign for how common place it is.... and I definitely do not live in a food forward area!

                                  1. re: kubasd

                                    Clearly more people have access to this condiment than I realized.

                                2. re: Harters

                                  I remember bringing wasabi peas back years and years ago from Japan. It was a novelty back then. Now I can buy wasabi peanuts at Asda. It's strange how our palette have changed.

                                  1. re: lilham

                                    Yeah, it's cool how Japanese flavours have become more mainstream recently for Western palates. I'm lucky enough to live in a city that has a sushi restaurant practically on every corner, even in the less adventurous suburbs. So my kids have been able to grow up eating it and they think it's totally normal.

                              2. Have you tried any of the cold chicken recipes from Land of Plenty? I'll often turn leftover roast poultry into an array of appetizers (also good for a main) from that book. Depending on the recipe, the most knifework required would be chopping of garlic, ginger, and scallions. My favourites are the Fish-Fragrant Chicken Slivers and the Strange-Flavor Chicken. Completely drool-worthy recipes.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Allegra_K

                                  oooh! Good reminder on those, thank you!

                                  ~TDQ

                                2. Cubed chicken, rice, steamed veggies, teriyaki sauce = teriyaki bowl. Shredded chicken, bbq sauce, good bread = pulled bbq chicken sandwich. Shredded chicken, salsa, tortillas, & misc fixings = tacos.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: letsindulge

                                    I think I've got everything on hand for all three of those!

                                    ~TDQ

                                  2. On nights like this (and I have them too, with my toddler), you need to give up and have cold sandwiches.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: rockandroller1

                                      HA! You won't kick me out off of chowhound?

                                      I just went to the market and bought a rotisserie chicken and a nice quarter ham. I think I can have chicken tacos tonight. The ham is for the next emergency...

                                      ~TDQ

                                    2. When you have picked the carcass clean, break it up with your hands and put it in a dutch oven. Add some water, just enough to submerge most of the pieces. Put the dutch oven into an oven at 180º. Let it go all night long. In the morning you will have chicken stock for the next day's quick dinner.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: smtucker

                                        Such a great idea, but I'm so worried I'll burn my house down. You've done this hundreds of times, right?

                                        ~TDQ

                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            hundreds of times.... 180º isn't going to burn down your house. But I will warn you, you will dream of chicken noodle soup.

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                To be honest, closer to 47. But my house is still standing.

                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                  So, "dozens of times"... Still pretty good.

                                                  ~TDQ

                                        1. I usually make enchiladas or curry.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: Savour

                                            in 30 minutes, including feeding a toddler? Wow!

                                            1. re: LulusMom

                                              Well, with Enchiladas I used canned enchilada sauce, shredded cheese and I make stacked enchiladas. They're pretty easy to throw together and don't take long in the oven. The curry is quick too - especially if you have prechopped onions and an apple -- cooks in about 15 minutes.

                                              1. re: Savour

                                                Phew! I was feeling especially bad about my knife skills for a moment there.

                                                1. re: Savour

                                                  I'd love your curry recipe (or technique, if "recipe" is too strong a word--I know sometimes these quick dishes are often more by instinct--and what you have on hand-- than by letter), savour, if you wouldn't mind sharing.

                                                  Thank you!

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    This reminds me that another very quick meal is Thai curry using prepared curry paste (maesri or Mae ploy brand) and canned coconut milk.

                                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                                      This reminds me of one I've made that also uses prepared paste and canned coconut milk and saves time on cutting by using bagged broccoli slaw.

                                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Don't have the leisure to type it out but it is on my blog. (can't link per chowhound rules)

                                              2. Fantastic ideas here and I plan to steal almost all of them, so I feel obliged to share my own go-to quick rotisserie chicken meal. Might not help you right way, as it uses a couple of slightly uncommon pantry ingredients. But google them and they're easily found, and very handy to have around. Boil up some buckwheat soba noodles. Rinse (this is good at room temp, or cold next day if you've got leftovers), put in bowl, add shredded chicken, finely cut vegetables (I like carrot and cucumber) and straight noodle soup base (which is basically just soy based broth in a bottle). Jazz it up with scallions, sesame seeds, or shredded ginger if you like, but I'm usually too lazy to do so.

                                                1. the time has come and gone... what did you do?

                                                  i had the same thoughts of quesadillas or tacos or salad, but...

                                                  i would also suggest for future (or for others) couscous...resuscitate it add shredded chicken, lime juice, some tomatoes (or sundrieds), some marinated cocktail onions, currants, fresh basil, oil and vinegar...
                                                  or make a quick omelette with chicken and salsa; top with chopped onion, sour cream, fried chives and sliced avocado.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: Emme

                                                    I like the couscous idea, and wouldnt' have thought of that. Thanks. A frittata (or omelet) is also a good idea.

                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                      I agree--I wouldn't have thought of couscous, but it is a great idea. I ended up with chicken and steamed broccoli quesadillas. It felt satisfying to me! (and the tot just had chicken and broccoli.)

                                                      I though I might do the chicken fried rice tonight for dinner, except, well, now I'm tempted by the couscous! Marinated cocktail onions! Don't have those on hand though. Preserved lemon? Would that work?

                                                      Thank you everyone for your terrific ideas. This thread will go into my favorites for sure. And now I am up early to prepare one of the dishes I meant to prepare on Sunday so we can have it for lunches today.

                                                      ~TDQ

                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        I remember there's a couscous with preserved lemons in Plenty. EYB confirms it

                                                        http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/r...

                                                        For a quick dinner, you can probably toss dried apricots, preserved lemons with the spices on the list into the couscous.

                                                        1. re: lilham

                                                          Ah, yes! Good call! Can never go wrong with Plenty!

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                          1. re: lilham

                                                            Also in Flexitarian is one of my favorite quick and easy pantry dinners. I believe he uses barley in the recipe, but says at the end of it that you can sub couscous (which I always do). Roasted with garbanzos, red onion, etc. Very tasty and easy.

                                                    2. Yesterday at lunch I was gnawing on the dark meat leftovers of a RC and contemplating the whole breast I had salvaged that was going out soon if I didn't do something so I went to Foodily and found the answer. Today we are enjoying this potato chicken pesto salad. http://www.foodily.com/r/0fCUSWkOZ-pe.... I threw it together while the potatoes were cooking- some small multi colored spuds from Trader Joe's - no peeling needed. Took 20 minutes tops.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                        Wasn't so hot after all. Made it to lunch but the rest was tossed. Not a keeper.

                                                      2. What did you end up doing with the chicken?

                                                        A tip for Wednesday evenings- have something already prepared for your toddler's dinner. Doesn't have to be fancy. Grilled cheese/steamed broccoli/ apple slices, pancakes/fruit/yogurt. Next time you make soup, freeze some toddler portions and add in a few pieces of rotisserie chicken or cooked turkey.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: cheesecake17

                                                          Sorry I never replied to you, cheesecake. I ended up with chicken and broccoli quesadillas (I posted this above but it was kind of buried) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8739... Great suggestions about freezing stuff ahead of time. We do have little freezer packets for him but it's always good to have a variety so thanks for the ideas!

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                        2. Chicken quesadillas! I shred the chicken, saute summer squash, onions, green chiles (or bell peppers) and mushrooms in cast iron skillet. I use goat cheese instead of a cheddar or melting cheese. Don't overload. Good quality tortillas. Griddle them in the cast iron skillet.
                                                          I made these last minute one night years ago. It was the first time my boyfriend came over to my place for dinner after I got off work late. He's still my boyfriend and I still make our "first meal" frequently.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                            Funnily enough, that's what I ended up with, though not nearly as deluxe as you're describing. I don't know if I can depart from the melting cheese, though. The melty kind is so comforting. I wish I had some hatch green chile right now. I wonder if I can mail-order some frozen or if they've sold out this seasons?

                                                            ~TDQ