Thursday, June 21, 2012

Three Ways with Rotisserie Chicken: Quick & Easy Summer Chicken Recipes

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Utah Deal Diva- Quick Easy Summer Meals from Rotisserie Chickens

Update: All of my recipes have been moved to my new food website:Butter, with a side of Bread. Visit me there to see what's new! 

Last week I bought two rotisserie chickens for $4.99 each at Costco. It was hot and I was feeling unmotivated to cook, but didn't want to spend the money to take our family out to a restaurant. I had previously found 3 quick, easy meals to make and was anxious to try them out.

They. Were. Delicious.

Seriously, all three need to be added to my regular summer meal rotation. They were light but still filled you up and I love that they only took 20 minutes to make!

Utah Costco Rotisserie chickens

By the way, I list 3 meals here, but really, I could have gotten 4 or 5 out of the two rotisserie chickens. We had leftovers after each meal and I even stashed about 1.5 cups of chicken in the freezer, to use another week. Also, I checked around different stores and Costco's rotisserie chickens were the largest and cheapest by far! The other stores had them for $6.99-$7.99. They were so moist and had great flavor too!


So bring the chickens home and de-bone them. You can be as picky with the chicken as you'd like. I don't care for dark meat, so I only opted for the larger pieces of that. I divided all the meat into 3 meals and each had about 3 cups of shredded chicken. 

Utah Deal Diva Cool Chicken & Noodle Salad easy summer meals

Cool Chicken & Noodle Salad

I got this recipe from the July issue of Women's Day magazine.  This was the first recipe I made after buying the chickens. I de-boned the chicken, then just let it cool on the cutting board while I prepared the noodles and dressing. So when it was served, it wasn't cold per se, just cool. Yum. Leftovers the next day were even better since the flavors in the dressing had time to meld!

  • 1 ten-ounce box angel hair or capellini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice ~about 3 limes
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 additional TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1 red chili, or ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into wedges and thinly sliced {i used whatever I had on hand!}
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, cut into thin half-moons {I used sugar snap peas from the garden instead!}
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • about 2.5 cups rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup(s) fresh mint, thinly sliced {optional}
  • salt & pepper to taste
Directions

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Rinse under cold water to cool, then toss with the sesame oil.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice, sesame oil, rice vinegar, brown sugar, chili (if using), 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Add the apple, cucumber, and scallions to the lime juice mixture and toss to coat. Slice or shred the chicken.  Add to the apple-cucumber mixture and toss to combine. Add the noodles and mint and toss again.


 Pineapple Chicken Tacos

This is a recipe I created while inspired from another recipe- and don't ask me where that came from because I can't remember! At any rate, I love to make this when I start seeing fresh pineapples for about $2. None of my amounts are exact, so feel free to adjust to fit your family's tastes. If you want the chicken to stretch even further {or eliminate the chicken altogether for a meat-less meal!} add some pinto or black beans to the chicken.

Just as an FYI as well, this recipe is dairy and gluten-free!

Chicken:

  • about 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 TBSP water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a small, microwavable bowl. Mix around with a fork and microwave about 1 minute.


Pineapple Salsa:

  • about 1.5 cups diced fresh pineapple {1/3 of our pineapple}
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 bunch of cilantro, torn or chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • dash of salt

Lightly mix all ingredients and allow to sit while you're prepping the chicken and corn tortillas.

You'll also need about 10-12 corn tortillas and shredded lettuce.

You can warm the tortillas in the microwave, but I like to heat them with a bit of olive oil on the stove. Put about 2 TBSP oil in a small bowl. Heat a frying pan on medium and add a bit of oil using a sauce brush. pat both sides of the tortilla with the brush and heat about 30-40 seconds on each side. They end up a lot more pliable this way so you don't have a bunch of broken tortillas for your delicious chicken pineapple tacos!

My husband added some salsa to his tacos while I opted for green taco sauce. Yum!


Tomato-Basil Chicken

I saw this in a recent Eat Better America email and knew I wanted to try it! I made a few changes to give it some added flavor, but my whole family ended up loving it- as did my in-laws!
  • 8 oz uncooked fettuccine
  • 2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (3/4 cup) - I used the leftover red onion from the chicken tacos
  • 1 1/2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped (2 1/2 cups)- I used grape tomatoes
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey breast
  • 4 TBSP olive oil, divided- flavored oils like garlic or basil are amazing!
  • 3 TBSP chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce {optional}
Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on package. Lightly toss with olive oil and cover to keep warm.

While the pasta is cooling, heat 2 TBSP oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic in oil, stirring occasionally, until onion is crisp-tender. Stir in remaining ingredients {including remaining oil} except fettuccine; reduce heat to medium.

Cover; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is hot and tomatoes are soft. Serve over fettuccine.

Enjoy! 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

About a year ago I read a letter to the editor in the newspapaper by a woman who wrote that her family would starve if it were not for the dollar menus at fast food restaurants. It was the cheapest way to feed her family on a budget. I was horrified, not because this family was starving, but because this woman thought she didn't have options. I took it as a personal challenge to find ways to feed my family of four a healthy dinner, including a protein, for under $5. It should also be noted that if my family spent the same amount on dollar menu food, we would all leave hungry.

Let me tell you I could write a cookbook. The rotisserie chicken is my go-to "fast food" because it will feed us at least three times. Don't forget to boil those carcasses to make stock for one last meal...soup.

Browse the fresh prepared meals section at Costco (next to the rotisserie chickens) next time you are there. Look at the things Costco prepares and sells using their own rotisserie chicken meat. Take some of those ideas home with your own chicken.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on the rotisserie chicken as a quick and easy menu maker. I use it to make corn enchiladas super easy and really good as well. I made the pineapple chicken tacos and they were a hit. I didn't have cumin so I added taco seasoning and it turned out great. Thanks for the menu options. I love your blog for the frugal menu ideas and the cooking with food storage as well. Keep up the great work!

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