By Jenny Stauffer

Five Ways to Use a Rotisserie Chicken

Rotisserie chicken sure has made a busy mom’s life SO much easier! The taste and convenience are hard to beat!  I have found that since our family prefers only the white meat of the chicken, I can get a better value at Costco for their rotisserie chickens. They are bigger and are actually less expensive.

Another tip I have used recently, courtesy of Ina Garten, is to buy bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and roast them in the oven on 375 for about an hour. Plop them in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and that is it. Sometimes I use Lawrey’s seasoning salt (a staple of mine). If I have time, I do these in the morning, let them cool, shred them, and have them for later on or as I am needing them for the recipe at hand. I have learned, through trial and error, and a large dose of respect for Ina, these are darn close to the taste of rotisserie chicken and you really get more white meat for your money, at least twice/two and a half times the amount. They definitely taste better than boiling or baking boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I usually use them for the tetrazzini recipe OR I use two rotisserie chickens. I can always use leftovers for a wrap or salad!

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

I got this recipe one year from the Charlotte Observer and it is one of our favorite Mexican meals. Don’t be thrown off by the Alfredo sauce. It tastes a lot like queso when it is mixed with the Mexican flavors.

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded’
Flour tortillas
1 jar of Salsa Verde
1 pkg. of Colby-Jack shredded cheese
1 container of Buitoni Alfredo sauce (I use the Light version)

Combine the chicken, about ½-1 cup of the salsa (so that it is moist, but not overly so) and ½ of the cheese. Spoon mixture into tortillas and roll up. Spoon alfredo sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes, uncovered, until bubbly and sauce is light brown.
**If you like spicy, you may want to add some cumin or chili powder. I tend to like the flavors just as they are, though. I find that most Mexican restaurants don’t use cumin, anyway.

We serve this with Saffron rice and black beans.

Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe comes from a mother whose children I used to babysit a very long time ago. I loved it! My kids enjoy it because it is mild in flavor and the vegetables are small enough to be somewhat unnoticed! I have seen many versions of this. Again, I’m not original, I just love simple food!!!

1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 can cream of chicken soup (can use light)
1 8 oz container of sour cream (can use light)
1 regular sized can of Veg-All (canned mixed vegetables, drained)
1 pkg refrigerated pie crusts
salt and pepper

Combine the sour cream and the soup and season to taste. Add in chicken. Place one pie crust in a round baking dish. Pour chicken mixture in. Cover with top crust and seal. Cut slits in the top. Bake at 350 for about 30-45 minutes uncovered until brown and bubbly.

We serve this with lima beans in the winter, and sliced tomatoes in the summer (and no, my children don’t eat sliced tomatoes, but I do, and I love them!!) We also like some sort of roll or bread to “sop” up the yummy sauce.

Mediterranean Couscous with Chicken

*Adapted from Southern Living

Okay, I really wanted to save this for springtime, but it is so delicious and is such a great departure from comfort foods. It’s light, healthy, and super delicious. My oldest child will eat this, but I do pick out the chicken and separate the couscous for my youngest. Sometimes I serve this on a bed of lettuce with some additional Caesar dressing, but usually we eat it warm with a salad and some crusty bread.

“No pots and pans are required for this easy, no-mess Mediterranean recipe. Simply use a glass measuring cup to heat the broth in the microwave, place dry couscous in the serving bowl, and then add the broth. Once the remaining ingredients are stirred in, the dish is ready to serve.

Prep: 15 min., Cook: 5 min., Stand: 5 min.
Yield: Makes 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

1 1/4  cups  low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1  (5.6-ounce) package toasted pine nut couscous mix
3  cups  chopped cooked chicken (about 1 rotisserie chicken)
1/4  cup  chopped fresh basil
1  (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
1  pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Garnish: fresh basil leaves

Heat broth and seasoning packet from couscous in the microwave on HIGH for 3 to 5 minutes or until broth begins to boil. Place couscous in a large bowl, and stir in broth mixture. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
Fluff couscous with a fork; stir in chicken and next 6 ingredients. Serve warm or cold. Garnish, if desired.
Tip: You’ll need to buy a 2/3-ounce package of fresh basil and 1 rotisserie chicken to get the right amount of basil and chicken for this recipe.

***My notes…The lemon zest is a must, and I often add more. I also drizzle with olive oil until moist enough, and usually add more lemon juice.
*Also, I try to adhere to a lower sodium diet, so I buy the plain couscous and add my own seasonings.
*The last time I made this I used slivered almonds, because pine nuts are super expensive, and my husband and I liked that substitution better!!!

Peanutty Noodles

This is a great base. I like to add peanuts or crunchy peanut butter. This actually comes from a mom whose son has a peanut allergy. She uses soy butter, so if that is the case in your family, you can always prepare to your specific guidelines. I usually add more soy sauce!

12 oz linguine
1/3 cup hot pasta water
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tsp soy sauce
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 tsp rice vinegar
4 T green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar

Cook and drain pasta, reserving 1/3 cup water. Blend water and peanut butter in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Toss with pasta and serve.

**I serve this with cucumbers and dip for the kids, add in some crunchy Asian noodles, and my husband and I enjoy the Nakato Ginger dressing in the refrigerated salad dressing section at Harris Teeter.
**Green onions are big enough to pick out if you need to! Sometimes I do!

Chicken Tetrazzini

I like to make this for new moms. There is enough for two casseroles…one for you and one to share or freeze!

1 (16 oz) pkg vermicelli
½ c chicken broth
4 cups cooked chicken breast
1 can cream mushroom soup
1 can cream chicken soup
1 can cream celery soup
1 small container sour cream
1 6oz jar mushrooms, sliced and drained
½ cup shredded parm. Cheese
S&P to taste
2 cups (8 oz) cheddar cheese, shredded

Prepare noodles. Drain. Return to pot, and toss with chicken broth.
Stir together chopped chicken and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Add noodles. And toss well. Spoon mixture into 2 lightly greased 11 x 7 baking dishes (or one 9×13). Sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese.

Bake, covered at 350 for 30 min. Uncover and bake 5 minutes more until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Note: Freeze unbaked casserole for up to a month, if desired. Thaw overnight in fridge. Let stand room temp 30 minutes and bake as directed.
**I add more cheese to the noodle mixture in addition to what goes on top.

Jenny, these recipes sound awesome and I can’t wait to try them with my family! Thanks for this article today! – Katie