Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cheater Cheater Chicken Eater

If you've read previous posts, then you may be aware that I have a poultry aversion. Particularly to chicken. But I have made huge strides to overcome this, thanks to a few amazing recipes and one super-fantastic-too-good-to-pass-up item... the store prepared rotisserie chicken!

I mean, seriously. How can you not love this? They are all natural whole chickens seasoned and cooked rotisserie style right in the deli section of the supermarket. They're hot, juicy and ready to go! Plus, they range in price from $4.99 to $6.99 depending on when you buy them. The later in the evening you shop, the lower the price!

These babies are so delicious and so versatile. And it's the greatest shortcut for those nights when you need a good meal fast. It's like cheating! Only guilt-free and harmless.

There are so many ways to utilize the ready to eat rotisserie chicken. Here are my favorites.

Chicken dinner: The most obvious option is to eat it hot right off the bone. Whip up a fresh green salad, some rice pilaf, and steamed asparagus, and you've got a healthy meal in less than 30 minutes.

Chicken salad: Just stick it directly into the refrigerator and the next day remove the breast meat (ditch the skin), and cube into small pieces. Add some diced celery, crumbled bacon (use turkey bacon if you prefer), chopped scallions and a little bit of plain Greek yogurt and dollop of mayo for that familiar flavor. Season with a little salt, pepper, and feel free to throw in some fresh chopped flat leaf parsley or dill. This makes a delicious lunch on a whole grain role. Add sprouts or spinach leves and sliced tomatoes to the sandwich to really jazz it up.

Entree Salad: This is filling and satisfying enough to eat as your main entree. Remove the and breast meat from refrigerated chicken. Slice or shred. Serve on top of arugula, add halved grape tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles and toss with lemon vinaigrette. Some diced cappcola ham is a fabulous addition. (Dressing: juice of half lemon, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, dash of balsamic vinegar, sea salt, fresh black pepper and a pinch of thyme)

Enchiladas: Remove skin, cut out the breast and leg meat, etc, and shred. Combine with sliced black olives, diced onion, a little sour cream (optional), drained can of green chilies, and shredded cheese.  Add 1/3 of a can of enchilada sauce and mix. Fill tortillas and place in glass baking dish (lightly coat bottom of dish with the enchilada sauce to prevent sticking). Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake until hot and cheese is melted. Serve topped with diced tomato, chopped lettuce, onion, sour cream, black olives, and jalapenos. A side of beans and avocado salad round out this meal. (Avocado salad: sliced avocados, fresh lime juice, salt, halved grape tomatoes.)

What are your favorite ways to go ninja on these types of convenience items from the deli?

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