Store-bought rotisserie chicken is arguably better than the chicken you can roast at home. The first and perhaps biggest argument in favor of rotisserie chicken is convenience. They are nearly always fresh and ready at your local grocery store right when you need them, and it's easy to pick one up on the way home and have dinner halfway sorted out by the time you pull into your driveway.
The tumbling of the rotisserie bastes the chickens as they swirl around. This keeps the meat flavorful and juicy, with less chance of drying out. But the best thing about rotisserie chicken isn't the convenience or the salty, crispy skin and juicy meat. It's the leftovers. You get your first meal straight out of the bag when you get home, but leftover rotisserie chicken is a versatile staple that can fill in the gaps when you need a quick meal.
The humble rotisserie chicken can be a lifesaver on a busy weeknight, but if you have a few extra minutes, it can become more than just the salty, delicious bird you eat with your fingers on the way home from the store. Here are 14 more delectable ways to use your rotisserie chicken.
Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice
Chicken cobbler features a luscious, creamy filling topped with lighter-than-air biscuits, and it's the perfect way to use leftover rotisserie chicken. The filling is similar to chicken pot pie, but it skips the one thing many people find intimidating about that humble creation: the crust.
One simple solution to mixing, kneading, and rolling out dough is to use a biscuit mix for the top. Make your chicken cobbler filling (pro tip: double the recipe and freeze half for another meal), and pour it into a greased baking dish. While your oven preheats, whip up your favorite biscuits according to the directions on the package. If you want to roll them out and cut them with a biscuit cutter, that's great but unnecessary. Drop-style biscuits make this even easier. Grab a big serving spoon and drop it onto the top of the batter.
You can always make your own biscuits, too. Don't forget to double that batch and freeze them with your extra filling for another soul-satisfying, easy weeknight meal.
Shredded Chicken Tacos
Taco Tuesday is something of a misnomer. Is there any day that tacos can't make better? These are easy to pull together and perfect for a family attempting to feed many different appetites. Shredded chicken tacos are an excellent option, especially if your leftover rotisserie chicken seems a little dry and sad.
Shed your leftover rotisserie chicken and prepare with a packet of store-bought taco mix (or make your own taco mix to have on hand for just such an occasion). The chicken is really just the base that you build on. From there, set out soft and hard taco shells and an assortment of toppings. Cheese, avocado, and salsa are non-negotiables, but some people like to add extra black beans, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.
Go one further and make a special salsa with mangoes or a slaw with shredded red cabbage. These two toppings perfectly balance the saltiness of the seasoned chicken and will set your meal apart from the everyday.
Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken fried rice uses staple pantry ingredients to magically morph crunchy rice and leftover chicken into a salty, sweet, and sour dinner that is easy and infinitely variable. Many veggies are at home in this dish, and it doesn't matter if they are fresh or frozen. But there are a few mistakes to avoid when pulling together a quick meal of fried rice. Although fresh rice is best for many dishes, fried rice loves leftover, hard, dried-out grains. You'll need to use a screaming hot wok — the highlight of this dish is that it comes together so quickly and a hot wok is why.
Choose your ingredients carefully, and don't go overboard. Peas, carrots, and chicken are perfect. Add them in quantities that allow you to have a bit of each in every bite. Make sure you use plenty of aromatics, though. Garlic and onion add depth of flavor to the final product.
For your sauce, use tamari for gluten-free diners, and don't forget to add a little oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sweetener for balance. The finishing touch is egg, and you can add that either cooked ahead of time to the final dish or in the last stages of cooking. Another option is to go rogue and fry an egg to place on top of each portion.
If you have tortillas, cheese, and leftover rotisserie chicken, you have quesadillas. Chicken quesadillas are another easy crowd-pleaser — quick for weeknight meals, too. They don't take long to make and can be customized for picky eaters.
Because rotisserie chicken is generally only seasoned with salt and paper, you'll need to bump up the flavor in your quesadilla. Do this by adding salsa to your shredded chicken. You can also use taco seasoning, but salsa adds a bit of moisture to the chicken, too.
Your pan should be hot enough to melt the butter but not so hot that the flour tortilla burns before the inside of the quesadilla is cooked. Place the tortilla in the pan when it's hot enough, and add shredded chicken and cheese to half. Cook over medium heat until the bottom layer of cheese begins to melt.
Use a spatula to fold the plain half of the tortilla over the chicken and cheese half, then flip and cook until the cheese is completely melted. To serve, cut the quesadilla in half and set out sour cream, guacamole, and extra salsa.
Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie could not possibly be easier. Most ingredients are easily gathered from what you have on hand in your freezer: Peas, corn, and green beans all make an appearance, but lima beans and other frozen veggies work, too. Dice some potatoes, top with homemade gravy (or use a can or powdered mix), be liberal with dried thyme, and nestle into a top and bottom crust.
If you're feeding people with gluten intolerance, pie crust is very adaptable with all-purpose gluten-free flour. In this case, gluten-free flour can actually make the crust more tender. Be sure to use your hands to work the dough to get a better sense of when it's hydrated enough.
But don't stress over the crust — a good option is to load all of your pot pie ingredients into a cast iron skillet and top it with store-bought puff pastry. This rustic dish is delicious and even a little elevated. All with store-bought ingredients.
You might think of chicken salad as that bland, mayonnaise-drenched concoction slowly turning brown at the edges in your grocer's deli case, but think again. Rotisserie chicken imparts a beautiful roasted flavor to this summer staple and is easy to perfect in multiple variations. The flavor variations and additions are endless. Add ranch powder for a take on Market Rye's famous chicken salad. Head east and use cashews and curry powder for an earthy and delicious variation.
Adding celery is classic, but other ways to customize your chicken salad exist. Chopped pickles (sweet, savory, or spicy) and pickle relish are flavorful twists, as is chopped apple, pecans, and fresh herbs. A dash of vinegar cuts through the richness of mayonnaise, and chopped hard-boiled egg makes it creamy and adds protein. Other unusual flavor bombs include citrus (zest and juice), dried meats (think salami or pepperoni), and hot sauce.
You can shred your rotisserie chicken or chop up leftover meat. Shreds are easier to eat in a sandwich, but chopped chunks are perfect over fresh greens. Add red onion to either preparation, and you're all set.
BBQ Chicken Pizza
If you live below the Mason-Dixon line, barbecue sauce likely makes up part of your DNA. Barbecue sauce has even made an appearance in ice cream. So it stands to reason that one American classic — barbecue — would work well with another: pizza. Barbecue chicken pizza is sweet, smoky, spicy, salty perfection, and leftover rotisserie chicken makes it simple to pull together.
There are two trains of thought here. Like traditional tomato sauce, you can use barbecue sauce directly on the crust. Top with chicken, red onion, Colby jack cheese, and some hot sauce, and bake as usual. This generally springs to mind when people think of a barbecue chicken pizza.
Another way to go is to add rotisserie chicken bathed in barbecue to the top of a traditional pizza. This marriage of cuisines (southern and Italian) works well. The tomato in the barbecue sauce marries nicely with the tangy tomato gravy on the pie, and everything mellows out with ample mozzarella cheese. If you go this route, try fresh mozzarella instead of store-bought shreds. This adds a creamy texture to what could be an exceptionally tangy bite.
Chicken Soup (And Stock)
The research has been analyzed, and the results are in: Chicken soup does actually help you feel better. And how could it not? Eating a steaming bowl of chicken broth packed with chunks or shreds of juicy chicken, tender carrots, and nearly translucent celery is something to look forward to, even when you're feeling fine.
When you have a leftover rotisserie chicken, you have the two most critical ingredients of the soup: bones for stock and chicken. Making stock requires some planning ahead. Pop the bones from your previous chickens into the freezer until you're ready.
Pick a day when you'll be around the house for a while. Add bones, carrots, onion, celery, and a bay leaf or two to a large stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a lazy boil (just a bubble or two) and let simmer, covered, for several hours (you can make it in a slow cooker, too). Strain and freeze in 2-cup portions. The next time you have leftover rotisserie chicken, it will be easy to assemble a satisfying soup. Use shreds or chunks of chicken, and consider serving with leftover rice or pasta.
Greek Salad With Chicken
People living in Blue Zones have the highest number of centenarians of any other place across the globe. Researchers believe that a big factor in their longevity is their diet, and the people of Greece know how to live. They eat plenty of fresh vegetables and lean meat, and snack on olives and salty feta (to complement their judicious consumption of heart-healthy red wine).
Do something deliciously healthy for yourself and add shredded chicken to a Greek salad. This gives your meal a bump in protein and a nutritious, lower-calorie lunch or dinner. Start with a base of crunchy romaine lettuce, then add feta, olives, cucumber, and halved cherry tomatoes. Romaine is not traditional, but it gives your plate a boost and a crunch, an excellent counterpoint to all other textures. You could even add chickpeas for more fiber and protein. Dress with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and plenty of pepper and dried oregano.
The best part about this salad? You don't need to wait for leftovers. For a hearty dinner, slice the hot rotisserie chicken breast off the bone and serve the night you bring it home.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Buffalo chicken wing fans, you don't have to deep fry or smoke up your house trying to recreate your favorite bar's wings. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken and just a few minutes of prep time, you can have the creamy, spicy, tangy bite of your favorite chicken wings in a dip.
Creamy buffalo chicken dip (made in the oven or a crockpot) uses cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and your favorite wing sauce for the base. Stir in shredded chicken and bake for a treat that takes very little time to pull together.
This dip can be the perfect solution for impromptu gatherings, or it can be served as part of a large game-day spread. Tortilla chips are a great vessel for shoveling this into your mouth, but celery and carrots are fine (and perhaps a bit healthier).
Another variation is to add more chicken and turn this dip into a sandwich. Grab a sturdy roll and some hearty greens, and slather as much dip as you like onto the bread.
Chicken sliders are the perfect solution to a handheld meal that travels well and is perfect for little hands. Plus, the chicken is a blank canvas upon which you can paint whatever tastes you like. Chicken sliders can also be made ahead of time, wrapped well, and frozen. If you choose a wetter filling, prepare it separately and freeze it. Defrost in the morning and dinner will be ready in minutes.
Shred the chicken and mix it with barbecue sauce. Add a Hawaiian roll and a healthy serving of tangy slaw for a Buffalo-style chicken slider. Use Parker House rolls and add pesto, parmesan, and tomato for an Italian twist. Mix it up and use a biscuit instead of a roll. Add sweet fire pickles (sweet pickles prepared with jalapeños) and a large hunk of leftover breast meat slathered in honey mustard.
Chicken sliders are also easy to serve when entertaining. Prepare several trays of sliders in different flavors to offer guests. No utensils are needed (but likely plenty of napkins).
Who doesn't love nachos? There is something for everyone on a plate piled high with chips, cheese, black olive, green onions, salsa, and meat. Instead of adding fat and calories with ground beef, turn your leftover rotisserie chicken into a plateful of love.
A sheet pan and a few essential ingredients are all you need to make hearty chicken nachos. Spread your chips on the sheet pan (line the pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup) and top with an even layer of cheese. Add your shredded chicken and a rinsed and drained can of black beans to make it an even more substantial meal. Season as you like — consider taco seasoning or tajin, salt and pepper, and garlic powder are all good options. Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken and beans are warmed through.
Pull the sheet pan out of the oven, and get started layering. Add whatever you like: pickled jalapeños, chopped scallions, radishes, sour cream, fresh avocado, salsa, and guacamole are all excellent choices. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve.
You can also divide the un-accessorized nachos onto plates and let everyone add their favorite toppings. This works well when not everyone agrees on toppings or if there are dietary restrictions.
Chicken flautas take a little more time and effort to prepare than some other recipes for leftover rotisserie chicken, but they are worth the time and effort. These are rolled tortillas filled with chicken and cheese that are then deep-fried and served with green and red salsa.
Some cooks add other ingredients to the fillings. Drained green chilis and corn are popular, as are black beans. However, these are not meant to be burritos, and some restraint is necessary.
Chicken flautas can be baked on a sheet pan or prepared in an air fryer to be a little more health-conscious and avoid deep frying. For the sheet pan, roll the flautas as usual, and arrange on a rack fitted into a sheet tray lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 F until crispy (a little cooking spray helps with this). Follow the same steps with an air fryer, skipping the rack and foil, and baking directly on the rack that comes with your fryer.
Chicken And Dumplings
Chicken and dumplings is that deeply nourishing bowl of love you crave when the temperature drops and you need a big hug from the inside out. Essentially, chicken and dumplings is like a chicken cobbler, only instead of the biscuits sitting on top of a creamy filling, they cook right inside a soup that's a bit thinner (but not by much).
If you want to make chicken and dumplings with a shortcut, grab a pack of gnocchi, a bag of frozen peas and carrots, and your rotisserie chicken. You'll also need some standard soup things (celery, stock, onion, and garlic), plus heavy cream to give the soup a little more body.
You could certainly make your own dumplings (or your own gnocchi, for that matter). This is a great way to spend a rainy weekend afternoon when there's no rush to get a meal on the table. Whether you make them yourself or buy them premade, your dumplings should be pillowy and soft, the perfect complement to the just-cooked carrots and tender chicken.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.