I almost never use convenience foods. I don’t have anything against other people using them, I just prefer not to. I try to make a real effort to eat fresh, local foods.
All of these noble intentions are thrown out the window for my secret lover, the grocery store rotisserie chicken. They’re cheap (currently $4.99 each at my local Kroger), delicious, and can be stretched into at least two meals (usually more).
Here’s what I most often do with one, usually on Sundays right after I do my grocery shopping for the week. While I’m getting the meat off the bones, I throw the meat into the chicken salad bowl, and the bones (and skin and whatever else) into a stock pot.
Rotisserie use #1: Chicken Salad for Dan’s lunch
- Meat from one rotisserie chicken, chopped or shredded
- 2 – 3 stalks celery, chopped finely
- 2 – 3 T mayonnaise (I like Hellman’s)
Mix all in a large bowl. Make sandwiches on whole wheat bread all week long for lunch. If you have some, a thin slice of onion or some iceburg lettuce is also good on the sandwich.
That’s all Dan likes in his chicken salad, but I like to make this for showers or other girly gatherings and add walnuts and grapes (cut in half). It is fabulous served on bakery croissants or even those canned crescent rolls.
Rotisserie use #2: Chicken stock
- Bones and whatever else is left over after you’ve picked the meat off the chicken
- One onion, peeled and quartered
- Celery leaves, from one bunch celery
- 3-4 sprigs thyme
- salt to taste
Place everything in a stock pot, cover with water and boil for an hour or more. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and discard solids. Use in your favorite soup, or just drink it plain out of a mug when you have the sniffles.
If I have an onion left over from earlier in the week (you know the unused half that sits in the fridge after you used the rest for another recipe?), I’ll usually throw that in instead of cutting up a new one. As far as the celery, I just throw in whatever is left after I trim and cut up a bunch of celery. No one in our house likes the leaves or the tip tops, so they get thrown in the stock pot. I use Thyme because I have some in my garden.
All these disclaimers to say that the only important thing here is the chicken and the water and the boiling. Throw in whatever else you have – carrots, parsnips, leeks, sage, dried poultry seasoning – these would all be fine here.
I’m going to use the stock I’m making today to make Pumpkin Soup tomorrow.