Get Cooking: Rotisserie chicken, five ways

Get Cooking: Rotisserie chicken, five ways

Rotisserie chicken is mac ‘n’ cheese with wings, the American tofu, our default dinner

By | The Denver Post, , http://www.denverpost.com/2017...e-chicken-five-ways/

 

Rotisserie chicken is kissed by flames ...Rotisserie chicken is kissed by flames at Pollo a la Brasa.

Each month, I’d like to devote one week of “Get Cooking” to showing you how to take a common, everyday food and spin it five or so ways. Variety is not only the spice of life, it’s also in your pantry alongside those other flavorings sitting there and begging you to use them.

This week, rotisserie chicken; next month, five ways with mashed potatoes, in time for Thanksgiving Day dinner. And for December, turns on mussels, an inexpensive and readily available shellfish that’s amenable to myriad preparations.

Rotisserie chicken is mac ‘n’ cheese with wings, the American tofu, our default dinner.

Sure, you can just eat it as is, or with a set if typical sides, but you may also take the meat off the bone and use it for so many terrific, flavorful meals. Unleash your inner child and tease it back to the dinner table.

Original Post

Tacos

A few strands of chicken atop a flour or soft or crispy corn tortilla is a start, and dress it up as you like.

But you might also “deconstruct” a taco into a chicken tortilla skillet by slicing those tacos into ribbons and mixing them with sautéed onion and garlic; rice, beans, chopped jalapeño and corn; healthy pinches of oregano and ground cumin; all mortared together with shredded “Mexican mix” cheese.

Baked potato

A baked potato (Yukon gold or russet, it doesn’t matter, although this is one place where russets shine) — or for that matter, a baked yam or sweet potato — is just a taco tortilla from Incan Peru.

Treat it the same way as a soft tortilla and stuff it with pieces of rotisserie chicken, topped with a schmear (Yiddish Peru) of butter, sour cream or cream cheese and a healthy pinch of cayenne pepper.

Chopped chives? Scallions? Mrs. Dash? Icing.

Salad

Like most anyone, I love a straightforward chicken salad flavored with celery, parsley, maybe some scallion and lots of mayonnaise.

But into that basic recipe, try adding a fistful of cooked wild rice or couscous; or a significant presence of red seedless grapes and chunks of blue cheese. Or vary the basics with the addition of some rough-diced cooked Yukon gold potato slicked with mustard vinaigrette instead of mayo.

Quesadillas

It’s sort of the same story here as with the tacos. Sliding some chicken meat into the flour tortilla along with some cheese sounds right, but you might sneak in some apple or mango slices, too.

And what is a quesadilla but a south-of-the-border grilled cheese sandwich? If that’s true, then hijack some rotisserie chicken meat into the traditional north-of-the-border grilled bread and cheese.

Soup

“Un-vegetarian” a minestrone or other vegetable-based soup with chunks of chicken meat, especially breast meat that can suffer from being dried out. Nothing like making it swim to get some moisture back into it.

I’ve made delicious recipes for white bean chili that blanch out the red and green of tomato and chili peppers by keeping to just chicken broth, chicken meat and garbanzo beans, plus all the regular chili flavorings.

An extension of this idea is the great winter warmer from the American Southwest, posole (sometimes spelled pozole). Take chicken broth and add sautéed onion and garlic, canned hominy (I like to keep the canning juices and not rinse out the hominy), canned diced tomato, a softened chopped dried chili such as guajillo or poblano, and some red pepper flakes, cook it quite awhile, and top with chopped avocado and squeezes of lime juice.

Some final thoughts: Never toss the bones from a rotisserie chicken without first making a stock from them. Keep shreds of rotisserie chicken handy in the freezer in small plastic zipper bags; they’ll be there when you really don’t have time to shop for dinner.

Toss a few pieces of rotisserie chicken into your microwaved ramen bowl; such a happy addition to the daily grind. And substitute iceberg lettuce or big-headed radicchio leaves for corn or flour tortillas come warmer weather next spring or summer

Or try this recipe:

Chicken and Dill Souvlaki

Serves 4

Adapted from realsimple.com

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt and pepper

1, 2 1/2- to 3-pound rotisserie chicken, meat sliced

2 Kirby or English cucumbers, sliced into thin half-moons

1⁄2 small sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Colorado Sweet), thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

4 flat breads, naan or pita

1⁄2 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek- style

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice,  3⁄4 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Fold in the chicken, cucumbers, onion, and dill. Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the at breads and serve with the yogurt.

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