Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rotisserie Chicken Works Well for Other Recipes Too

Life is pretty busy for most of us and that leaves little time to cook.  Having time in the kitchen is difficult for those who enjoy it.  And then there are those individuals who don't like cooking and want to spend the least amount of time they can in the kitchen.

A big help in today's society is "Rotisserie Chicken" and you can get it almost anywhere.  Most grocery stores now sell a version of it.  They may use different seasonings but I've never had a bad one.  You do want to shop around when buying a rotisserie chicken.  In the area where I live the size and price vary greatly.  I can find chickens that range from 2 1/4 lb. up to a high of 3 lb.  The prices go from a low of $4.99 to a high of $6.99.  The interesting thing about this is the largest is also the least expensive.  Our Costco store sells a 3 lb. rotisserie chicken for $4.99.  With that, why would I buy them anywhere else.

Now a rotisserie chicken makes for a great dinner when served with a few of your favorite sides.  But the nice thing about that rotisserie chicken, you can do so much more with it.  There is usually only two of us having dinner if we are actually eating rotisserie chicken for our meal.  We'll eat the breast because we both prefer it.  I'll then take what is left and use it in my soups or casseroles.  That not only uses it up but helps make our meals less expensive.

Just last week I used one side of the breast for an entree salad for dinner.The other side I froze for a later use.  I then removed as much of the remaining chicken meat as I could to use in making my Chicken Wild Rice Soup.  The soup we had for dinner one night and I froze the remaining soup in several containers for future needs.  The other thing I did was take all the bones and skin and make my own chicken stock.  Which I used in the soup too.  I put the bones and skin in a 3 quart sauce pan and covered them with water (about an inch from the top) and added one bay leaf.  I brought it to a boil, reduced the heat to simmer and let it go for two hours with a lid slightly offset.  I then let it cool for about 30 minutes before straining it into a container and putting it in the refrigerator overnight.  The next day when I went to make the soup, I skimmed off the fat that laid on top of the stock.  I then used the stock in my soup.  I had about two quarts.  If I had not been making the soup that day, I would have froze the stock for another time.

Going back to that rotisserie chicken from Costco, it yielded my almost two pounds of chicken meat.  Each breast side was 8-9 ounces and rest of the chicken gave me an additional 14 ounces,  Plus the bones and skin for stock.  Now if you buy the smaller chickens you will naturally have a smaller yield for meat.

This week I have two recipes using rotisserie chicken and they're quick meals because of it.  The first is for "Chicken Chow Mien" and the second is "Chicken Curry over Rice" and I hope you will try them.
The Engagement at Sunrise!

My eldest son is getting married this Saturday (can't wait) to a wonderful girl.  Neither of them like to spend time in the kitchen.  They already use rotisserie chicken in a lot of their meals.  As a wedding bonus, I hope they will add these two recipes to their menu cycle.

You're really not limited when it comes to using rotisserie chicken in making a recipe.  Just think about all those recipes that call for cooked chicken, use rotisserie chicken in them.  I've mentioned using it in soups and for entree salads but there are plenty more ways it can be used.  How about using it for homemade pizza, chicken nachos, tacos, many other Mexican dishes, chicken chili, BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches and even omelettes for breakfast.  Let your imagination be your guide and get creative with your cooking.  "Happy Cooking" until next time.

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