How to Make the Most of Your Rotisserie Chicken

Anne Leonard

Virginia Beach’s specialty grocery store The Fresh Market currently has a weekly deal: from Friday to Sunday, any two rotisserie chickens of a variety of seasonings are $12 total. So you ventured to the Hilltop area, bought two birds and don't know how you'll make use of them? Don't panic; just keep reading.

Upon purchasing, my husband and I ate it as is, steaming straight out of the green and beige packaging. This usually occurs as we’re checking out or during the car ride home. If we’ve mustered enough self-control on the way home to not spoil our appetites, we’ll quickly strip a few pieces off and toss it with a green salad and balsamic dressing or with rice and a ramekin of pepperoncini peppers.

After our first feasting, I scavenge the birds to prepare for the week. There's lots, so dig people! Turn it over, and get in the crevices! Make sure to do this while they are still warm as it’s much harder to discern what is meat and what isn’t when the chicken is cold and hardened. Hold onto the carcasses.

Once I’ve reserved the meat from the carcasses, here is how I can feed two mouths for the week:

1. Make chicken salad. Everyone has their preferred chicken salad concoction. Maybe you’re known for adding grapes, a heaping spoon of mayo or something secret you just don’t want to reveal. I fancy a combination of dried apricots, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard and almonds. Here’s a similar recipe. I tend to eat chicken salad by the spoonful, on a bed of greens or nestled in a seedy wrap.

2. Marinate it. We often marinate the rest of the chicken in a tikka masala sauce for a day or two. Add some apple cider vinegar to the marinade to tenderize the meat as well as to kick it up an overall tangy notch. After marinating, heat through in a pan. I’ll add chickpeas, then mix in raw spinach before I’m about to serve. Though tasty on its own, it’s also nifty over couscous, quinoa or rice. Squeeze some lime on top, and if you have some cilantro I'd toss that in as well.

3. Finally, broth it. Place the carcasses in a large pot. Fill pot with water until covering the birds. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour, then strain. Now it’s soup making time! Add the strained broth back to the pot, bring to a boil and add a couple cups of water, a few dashes of red wine vinegar, sliced onions, carrots, celery, celery salt, salt and pepper. Most importantly, add noodles to make it a meal! I like to make mine a little extra spicy so I’ll add red chilies or sriracha. You have free rein here so add whatever your chicken soup-craving heart desires. You can obviously save the broth for another date if you’re all chickened out! Just freeze it, and reheat on the stove when you are ready to get your soup on!

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