Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rotisserie Chicken To The Rescue

Some days, cooking can be challenging, even for those of us who consider it enjoyable. You might be too tired from your day or the cupboards and fridge look bare. Just thinking about a trip to the store could fray your last nerve. My solution is to keep the meat from a rotisserie chicken handy in my freezer.

There may be fifty ways to leave your lover, but here are ten ways to use a rotisserie chicken.

Salads - Add rotisserie chicken to mixed salad greens, chopped tomatoes, shredded carrots, sliced red onions. Toss with your favorite low fat or fat free dressing.

Sandwiches and Wraps -Make a chicken-salad filling with crunchy celery and apple. Use plain low fat yogurt with a hint of curry powder or cumin for the dressing. Stuff into a whole wheat pita or spoon into the center of a whole wheat tortilla wrap and roll up.

Soups - Add 2 cups of chopped rotisserie chicken, a selection of chopped vegetables and 1 cup of uncooked rice or noodles to 3 cans fat-free chicken broth.

Pizza toppings - Top a Boboli crust with 1/2 cup of pesto or barbecue sauce, 1 cup of chopped rotisserie chicken and 1 cup reduced fat cheese. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.

Quesadillas - Combine shredded rotisserie chicken and diced green chilies with a little cumin. Spoon on one half of a low fat flour tortilla; sprinkle with reduced fat cheese; fold tortilla in half and cook in a nonstick skillet (coated with cooking spray) for 5 minutes, turning once.

Burritos, Enchiladas, Fajitas, and Tacos - Add shredded rotisserie chicken to salsa, beans, low fat sour cream and reduced fat cheese; or combine with sauteed onions and sweet peppers; with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes; or mix with mild green chilies, seasonings, scallions and a can of enchilada sauce. Use low fat flour or corn wraps with these fillings.

Pasta dishes - Add to your favorite pasta dish. Use shredded rotisserie chicken instead of ground beef or turkey in your favorite lasagna recipe. Be sure to use reduced fat cheeses.

Pot pies - Add chopped rotisserie chicken, sliced mushrooms and frozen mixed vegetables to low fat, reduced sodium condensed chicken or mushroom soup. Top with a reduced-fat biscuit topping or phyllo pastry sheets.

Casseroles - Combine 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken with 2 cups cooked rice, a can fat-free broth or chopped tomatoes, and a selection of chopped vegetables in a 2-quart casserole. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Skillet Meals - Add 1 1/2 cups of chopped rotisserie chicken to sauteed onion, mushrooms, broccoli and rice cooked in fat-free broth. Sprinkle some Parmesan before serving.

Tonight, I used my rotisserie chicken in a classic Greek soup with lemon, chicken, carrots, celery, onion and rice. Served with an un-oaked Chardonnay, it filled both our soul and our stomachs.