When I was pregnant, it was my archnemesis, no matter how much I loved it before. I find it hysterical that I could not stand the smell or even let it touch my lips and now…
It’s three years later, and I’m stalking the Sam’s Chicken Guy.
Truth told, I think it is every mom’s dinner savior. I confess, I regularly make a pit stop at the wholesale club to pick one up and I know I can’t be alone. I am usually among a large crowd of people stalking the chicken counter, waiting impatiently to grab one of those juicy, delicious birds that immediately solve that question of “what’s for dinner?”
There is no doubt that it also one of the best values on the market. The typical cost for a whole cooked chicken from the wholesale club is $5, and I can’t even buy a whole raw chicken for that cheap very often! Not only can it be eaten as is, but it is a great item to build meals around for a busy and hungry family.
My most common uses for a rotisserie chicken are jambalaya or gumbo. I’m not going to share those recipes, though, because we all know around New Orleans, we all have our own (or our mom’s) recipes for these local favorites. I thought it would be great, though, to compile a big list of uses for rotisserie chicken as a resource for local NOLA moms when we have a whining, hungry toddler pulling on our leg at 5:00 on a weeknight!
Now that we know fall is (hopefully) coming soon, it’s time to start pulling out some cozy, filling soup recipes. Of course, one of my favorite ways to get the most out of my rotisserie bird is to use it for stock!
Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Stock
leftover rotisserie chicken carcass, with a little meat remaining
1 onion, halved
2-3 carrots, roughly chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, whole
2-3 bay leaves
2-3 sprigs of thyme
Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Once done, skim any fat from the top. Can be used immediately or frozen. We like to freeze it into cubes to add to sauces or use for homemade chicken noodle soup.
Speaking of Chicken Noodle Soup, Amber shared her mother-in-law’s super easy and delicious recipe! It’s as simple as using Mrs. Grass Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup Mix, 8 cups of water, and a bag of baby carrots along with your leftover chicken. Cook for an hour and enjoy. This is perfect for when you may be feeling a little under the weather and need an easy and quick pick me up!
If you are looking for something hearty and perfect for a fall game day, this white chili recipe is one of my favorites, I adapted it from a recipe I got from The Rachael Ray Show. This recipe is super quick to come together and is delicious, especially on a cool day. This recipe makes many servings and it is a big hit with everyone in our house. It also freezes well.
White Chicken Chili
3 cans of great northern beans or navy beans
(UNDRAINED – this is very important)
Shredded cooked chicken (as much as you want, you can use whole chicken even!)
1 32 oz box chicken broth
1 jar of salsa verde (my favorite is Target’s Archer Farms brand)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bag of shredded monterey jack or Mexican cheese blend
1/2 to 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
cut limes, cilantro, avocado, green onions, tortilla strips and sour cream for toppings (optional)
In a dutch oven, combine all the ingredients except chips and heat through on medium high heat until warmed through. Once bubbling, add crushed in chips until the chili meets your desired thickness. Top with lime, cilantro, sour cream, additional chips or avocado if desired.
Janie shared this awesome chicken salad recipe. Her tip to making it extra delicious – sub in hummus for the mayonnaise to add protein and save calories!
Rotisserie Chicken Salad (for sandwiches and wraps)
2 cups leftover rotisserie chicken meat, shredded or diced
1/4 cup cashews or roasted walnuts/pecans (chopped)
1 small apple, diced
2 scallion stalks, sliced
1/4 cup mayo (or hummus)
squirt of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Enjoy on a bed of lettuce, croissant, or sandwich bread/roll.
Asian Cabbage Chicken Salad Are you a fan of salads that are low in calories, but full of flavor and crunch? I am a big fan of this Light Asian Cabbage-Chicken Salad, especially in the summer months. I also add shredded carrots and edamame to this recipe to give it a little more nutritional value, and it tastes even better the next day!
Garden Salad with Chicken – Obviously a great, healthy, low calorie option. We love to do a large dinner sized salad with our favorite veggies and toppings – usually cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli slaw, romaine lettuce and/or Herb Mix, croutons, sea salt almonds and feta cheese. This is clearly customizable to your personal tastes, though! This is also great for pre-made Mason jar lunch salads too!
New Contributor Jamie provided this delicious and healthy recipe for a perfect dinner or lunch salad that I can’t WAIT to give a try. This sounds like a perfect summer treat!
Chicken & Mango Salsa Salad
salad greens (whichever you choose)
champagne mango, chopped
heirloom tomatoes, chopped
Dressing: Mix Ranch seasoning, Greek yogurt, and a pinch of garlic powder and salt. To create salsa: In a bowl, combine mango, tomatoes, avocado, lime juice, and salt. Put over mixed greens with chicken and drizzle with dressing!
A Taste of Mexico
If you are a big fan of Mexican food, a rotisserie chicken is a great go-to for throwing together an easy dinner inspired by our southern neighbors! The first recipe comes from our contributor Angelina, and features some delicious (and easy) enchiladas!
Mom’s Easy Enchiladas
12 oz. shredded cooked chicken
1 19 oz can Old El Paso enchilada sauce
2 bags shredded Mexican cheese mix
1 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp diced garlic (in jar)
1 10 pack medium size whole wheat or flour tortillas
olive oil/cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put chicken in bowl large enough for mixing. Meanwhile, saute onions in small amount of olive oil until soft and clear; add garlic at last minute. Stir and remove from heat. Add 1/4 can of enchilada sauce to chicken, season with chili powder, cumin, taco seasoning, Tony’s and salt to taste while breaking up chicken. Add sauteed onions and garlic, mix well. Fill tortillas with about 1 1/2 Tbsp of chicken mixtures and add an equal amount of cheese. Fold tortilla. Place in 9×9 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Continue to fill tortillas until you’ve used all of the chicken and place in pan. Add more cheese to top of enchiladas. Pour as much sauce as on top as pan will hold without bubbling over. Place pan on cookie sheet in oven. Bake 20-30 minute until cheese is melted, sauce is bubbly, lightly brown and crunchy on top.
Chicken Quesadillas – These are super simple and perfect for getting a quick dinner on the table that kids will love. Saute some trinity in a skillet with some olive oil, salt and pepper and add in some shredded cooked chicken. In another skillet, begin heating whole wheat or flour tortillas. Add in chicken and some shredded cheese and fold tortilla over. Serve with avocado, salsa, and black beans or spanish rice for a side.
Burrito Bowls – Inspired by one of my pregnancy cravings, Izzo’s, the burrito bowl is a super simple and easy way to use leftover chicken. Prep a steam bag of corn, heat a can of black beans and a Minute rice cup. Meanwhile, layer lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and salsa in a bowl. Top with corn, rice, beans, chicken, and cheese. Add tortilla strips or chips and enjoy!
Kid-Friendly Burritos – A super fast and easy favorite for our little guy, these come together really quickly for those days when you have a toddler pulling on your leg for dinner. Heat a can of black or pinto beans that have been rinsed in a pan. While those are heating through, shred up some chicken and heat up a Minute rice cup or a steam bag of brown rice. Add in some shredded cheddar or Mexican blend of cheese, and then add in heated beans. Mix well and season with Tony’s or salt and pepper. Sometimes if I have extra zucchini or summer squash in the fridge, I will shred and saute it quickly and add it to the mix for added nutrition. Roll it up in a tortilla and serve with sliced avocado and tomatoes. These “bitos” are a big hit with my toddler and they come together in less than 10 minutes!
White Chicken Pizza – One of my favorite Friday night dinners, this one is simple and easy. Get your favorite pizza crust, whether you make your own, refrigerated, frozen, or pre-made. Make crust to package directions, spread jarred alfredo on crust. Top with cooked chicken, wilted spinach (or fresh if you prefer), mushrooms, peppers, and any other veggies you like. Top with shredded mozzarella (or a 5 cheese blend) and some chopped basil. Bake for 10-15 minutes (or as recommended on crust) at 375 degrees until bubbly and golden and crust is crispy.
Buffalo Chicken Dip – A favorite for football parties and tailgating, I make this recipe often to share when we watch the game with friends. It’s easy and a lot less messy than traditional wings, but has all of the flavor! Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 block of softened cream cheese in a oven-safe dish. Then mix 1 1/2 cups of cubed or shredded chicken, 1/2 cup of buffalo sauce (we like Moore’s or Frank’s), 1/2 cup of ranch dressing and a 1/2 cup of shreddded mozzarella cheese and spread over cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve with carrots and celery, or chips of your choice. Be prepared, it will get eaten quickly.
Another delicious recipe from Angelina, these nachos are easy to pull together and sure to please!
Indian Nachos – Cut a pita into 4 pieces, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and parmesan. Toast at 400 degrees until crispy. Heat chicken with olive oil and some garlic on the stovetop. Shred it while stirring. Season with cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt & pepper to taste. Spread chicken & shredded cheese on pita, toast until melted.
Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!
When it comes to pasta recipes, rotisserie chicken is a great way to save time in the kitchen. It’s as simple as shredding up chicken while your pasta boils to make a delicious meal in minutes! One of my favorite ways to make a delicious and indulgent pasta dinner with rotisserie chicken is to combine it with my favorite dip.
Spinach, Artichoke & Chicken Pasta
12 oz whole wheat penne
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 8 oz. block cream cheese (I use light to save calories!)
1/2 cup trinity
Salt, pepper or Tony’s to taste
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 up grated Parmesan
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed out
1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cup of cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta according to directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain pasta. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and then add trinity, salt and pepper or Tony’s to taste. Add the garlic and stir well into onion mixture. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, parmesan, and onion-garlic mixture. Add the pasta to the bowl and toss to coat. Stir in spinach, artichokes and chicken along with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid (adding more if the pasta seems dry). Fold in 1/2 cup mozzarella. Transfer the pasta mixture to a greased casserole dish and top with remaining mozzarella. Bake for about 30 minutes till heating through and until the cheese is golden brown.
Lasagna Rolls – Love lasagna, but always overindulge? How about a chicken lasagna recipe? Co-Founder Ashley shared an awesome recipe for Creamy White Chicken Lasagna Rollups that she recently tried and raved. She also shared this delicious chicken & broccoli casserole, straight from her recipe book to yours!
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cooked and shredded/ chopped
1 bunch broccoli florets, cooked
1/2 lb trinity mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded low moisture mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Garlic & Tony Chachere’s to taste
Creamy & Spicy Chicken Rigatoni – Want something a little spicy and Italian inspired? Ashley also highly recommends this recipe for Creamy & Spicy Chicken Rigatoni that she just made last week! This one is super easy to put together on a weeknight when subbing in rotisserie chicken for the cooked chicken breast mentioned in the recipe.
Chicken Fettucine – A super easy and tasty recipe with a Cajun twist, Janie also shared this Velveeta Fettucine recipe from Deep South Dish that she likes to prepare for her family, but she subs in rotisserie chicken for the crawfish and Tony Chachere’s for her version.
Make Your Own
Of course, I would be doing you a great disservice if I didn’t mention that there is a way to make your OWN rotisserie chicken in your very own kitchen with the help of your slow cooker. It is super simple and when you can get whole chickens for a deal at the grocery, can be just as economical and picking it from the wholesale club. This recipe does require the use of a large 6 quart slow cooker, as a whole chicken will not fit in a smaller one.
Crockpot “Rotisserie” Chicken
1 whole fryer chicken, cleaned and giblets removed (5 pounds is a good size)
Tony Chachere’s or any seasoning you choose
1 lemon, halved
1 onion, quartered
2 -4 cloves of garlic
Nonstick cooking spray OR extra virgin olive oil
In bottom of crockpot, add 3-5 balls of aluminum foil. Coat your chicken with a little extra virgin olive oil OR cooking spray (personal preference) and then coat your chicken well with your seasoning blend. In our house, we are big fans of Tony’s!! Add your lemon, onion, and garlic to the cavity of the chicken. Add to slow cooker, breast side down, on aluminum balls. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours. The skin will not be as crispy as those at the store, but I always remove the skin anyhow to save calories, so that’s not an issue for me. The chicken comes out tender, juicy and delicious.