When I was a young bride, my mother gave me a lesson on how to buy a week’s groceries on twenty dollars (not including paper & cleaning products). OK, yes, that was a long time ago, but I’ve never forgotten how to be frugal when necessary and with a little planning create healthy, filling and enjoyable meals for my family.
Since I am doing the 10 Week Wellness Challenge with the Iowa Food and Family Project, it seem like a good time to share some rotisserie chicken ideas and recipes. As mentioned above, I like to be frugal and one of my recent discoveries is that Target marks their rotisserie chickens down to $2.75 for a whole chicken — not per pound — for the whole cooked chicken the day after Target sold them hot. I buy 2 or 3 and freeze them for future use.
The obvious meal is to have with our rotisserie chicken on a busy night and serve it with mash potatoes or rice and a veggie. My husband and I love that meal. It is super easy to grab on out of the freezer, defrost for 10 minutes and pop it into a roaster in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes covered with some added liquid in the bottom of the pan. A 1/2 cup of water, chicken broth or white wine will work. This will keep it moist. After 30 minutes take the cover off and up the heat to about 400/425 degrees for 15 minutes or so to crisp up the skin. But that really doesn’t count as a recipe…..
The idea is that you will have something quick in your freezer to grab on a busy night and turn into a healthy meal. I like to shred up the chicken and use it for a quick dish. Shredded chicken is very versatile, it makes wonderful Hawaiian Chicken sandwiches with grilled pineapple on those sweet, soft, wonderful Hawaiian buns, a quick white bean chili, a chicken casserole, or if you diced it instead of shredding you have the makings of a delicious stir fry. Because it is so flexible you don’t have to worry about having “all of the right” ingredients — just use what you have I use it a lot for Mexican dishes such as chicken enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos, burritos or a chicken taco salad.
However, you choose to use the rotisserie chicken on of my rules is DON’T THROW AWAY the bones and left-over bits of meat. This is your opportunity to make some delicious chicken broth for sauces, soups and casseroles. See my easy oven recipe below.
The Chicken Enchilada recipe below one of my go to recipes that my son has always loved. It has a little cream cheese in the original recipe, but you can leave out the cream cheese if you want to lighten it up a little more.
Four Easy Ways to Use A Rotisserie Chicken
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken
- 1 pint Jar of your favorite salsa -- use more if you like it a little saucier.
- 2 or 3 drops of your favorite hot sauce to taste -- I like a green sauce
- Juice of ½ lime (optional, but nice)
- 4 oz Cream Cheese (optional)
- 4 to 6 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or more depending how heavy handed you are)
- 6 Tortillas
- Toppings -- extra salsa, hot sauce, green onions, sour cream, avocados, etc.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Defrost and warm up rotisserie chicken -- it is easier to shred when it is warm or room temperature...I use my hands but two forks work nicely too.
- Put shredded chicken in a saute pan, stir in salsa and hot sauce warming it through.
- If you are using the cream cheese cut it up in small cubes and melt into chicken and salsa mixture
- Fill tortilla with meat mixture, sprinkle with a little of the cheddar cheese.
- Put wrapped tortilla in a baking pan greased or sprayed to keep from sticking.
- Sprinkle the top of the tortillas with additional Cheddar Cheese
- Cover with foil and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas are hot.
- You can uncover and bake for a few minutes if you want to crisp them up.
If you aren’t in the mood for Mexican try this fresh and easy version of a Hawaiian Chicken Slider. You can use a crockpot on low for the meat and marinade — however, don’t put the pineapple in with the chicken. The acidity of the pineapple will disintegrate the chicken after time and you will have mush!
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken
- 1 Fresh Pineapple or
- 1 Large Can Pineapple Rings in Natural Juices
- ½ cup bottled Hawaiian Marinade
- 1 TBSP 5 Spice Mix (optional)
- 1 TBSP Oil
- Sweet Chili Sauce (optional)
- Sweet Hawaiian slider buns or rolls
- Shred rotisserie chicken and put into a large saute pan
- Add marinade warm up chicken
- Slice fresh pineapple into rings or at least larger pieces or use canned pineapple rings
- Optionally sprinkle each ring with a tiny bit of 5 Spice mix
- Lightly Oil Grill a grill pan, on the grill or in a saute pan
- Grill Pineapple slices - on med heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until dark grill marks appear
- On Hawaiian bun or roll add meat and a pineapple slice and an optional squeeze of a sweet chili sauce.
Making Chicken Broth
People are often intimidated by the thought of making their own chicken broth, especially when you can buy it in many forms, can, powders, cubes, etc. Why make your own? Because you control the ingredients and flavors, plus I think it’s fun.
- 1 Carcass of a rotisserie chicken
- 2 Carrots -- cleaned and roughly chopped
- 2 Stalks of Celery -- cleaned and roughly chopped
- 1 medium size yellow onion chopped in large chunks (some older recipes put the onion in whole with the yellow skins which provide a nice yellow color to your broth)
- 6 to 8 quarts of water -- enough to cover everything in your pot and add as needed while cooking
- Fresh Herbs -- Rosemary, Thyme -- You can use dry when they are out of season
- 1 or 2 bay leaves depending on size
- ½ to 1 cup white wine (optional)
- ** If you like garlic you can add one whole clove, but I like mine without for more flexibility and a more traditional flavor.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Put chicken and all juices into a heavy roaster or Dutch Oven
- If you have time roast the chicken and carcass for at least an hour uncovered -- add a ½ cup or so of white wine or water to the bottom of the pan.
- After at least an hour add all of the veggies, herbs, bay leaves and water to cover carcass
- Return to oven with a cover slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape for at least 2 more hours.
- Add water and salt as needed.
- Remove from oven and cool to lukewarm
- Using a fine sieve separate the broth from the bones and veggies into a large bowl.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Remove fat from top of broth and store in freezer safe container.
Making Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
- 2 TBSP Butter
- 2 TBSP Flour
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth or you can ½ cup milk and ½ broth
- Extra broth or milk to thin to desired thickeness
- 1 cup of diced chicken saved from Rotisserie chicken
- Add the butter to a saute pan and melt
- Sprinkle 2 TBSP of flour stirring constantly to create a roux. Cook 2 more minutes.
- Add cold liquid very slowly -- a bit at a time, stirring quickly continually until all liquid is added and your sauce comes together smoothly.
- Add additional broth or milk if necessary to your desired thickness
- Add diced chicken
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
Keep it simple and enjoy!