It’s a Wednesday night after work and you swing by the grocery store to pick up dinner. It’s late and you’re tired but you’re willing yourself not to get pizza again tonight (unless the crust is chicken, of course).
A comforting, umami-rich smell hits your nostrils – it’s the classic standby for single men and women across America…
The grocery store rotisserie chicken.
The rotisserie chicken has a bad rap. Sure, it comes in a bag. But you avoid having to handle slimy raw chicken, it’s made fresh every day, and it’s a guaranteed way to get super moist, flavorful chicken. It's frustratingly easy to overcook your chicken until its dry. Plus, how many times have you thrown away spoiled raw chicken because you kept opting for something faster rather than cooking it? Your supermarket Bachelor Bird solves both problems.
It’s also packed with protein. A modest four ounces of chicken contains a whopping 36 grams of protein, along with all of the essential amino acids you require to build proteins yourself.
Add to that an almost unbeatable per-pound value for the dollar and the humble rotisserie chicken is the perfect protein to anchor a variety of delicious, nutritious, and super easy meals to throw together on a weeknight.
Our workflow recommendation? Pick up a rotisserie chicken, eat the drumsticks for dinner with your favorite BBQ sides, then pull off and shred the rest of the bird. Store the leftovers in a Ziploc and use it throughout the week to make fast and healthy meals.
So we’ve compiled 9 simple, tasty recipes for your inspiration.
No cooking is required! Cube or shred your rotisserie chicken, add veggies and cheese, and chow down.
If you want something warmer, try these Buffalo Chicken Tacos. The shell is a quesadilla, and you can load them up with healthy beans, veggies, and squeezed lime.
No one dies wishing they’d eaten more Chipotle. Make your own with whatever you have in the house.
This recipe makes use of the old box of pasta sitting in your cabinet and the jar of marinara in your fridge. Add cheese, seasoning, and some olive oil (we skipped the breadcrumbs/panko) and you’ve got super easy comfort food for a few days.
This recipe is definitely more for inspiration. Ignore the fancy mac & cheese if you’re in a hurry, grab a box of Annie’s, and add some steam-in-bag broccoli for a hearty, quick, and cheap meal.
Tabbouleh that famous mid-eastern salad of bulgur, tomato, onion, parsley, and mint. Add in your rotisserie chicken and some rich feta cheese and you have a meal ready to eat – and put in the fridge for later.
Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list for this recipe. Pick up the basics for your tabbouleh and it’ll be flavor aplenty – or easier yet pick up a tub from the deli when you get your bird.
When we had previously mentioned our love for the rotisserie chicken, Primer reader Chris Moore chimed in with his favorite way to eat it:
Cobb Salad. Toss some bacon in the toaster oven and boil some eggs while you shred the chicken and whip together some bbq ranch.
Perhaps the easiest (and most satisfying) recipe on the list. Throw the shredded rotisserie chicken in a bowl and pour in some Sweet Baby Ray's. Spoon onto a bun or toast – top with sliced onion and pickles if you got 'em.
One of the tastiest and healthiest meals you can make in batches to eat throughout the week is a white chicken chili. It couldn't be simpler, all you need is some chicken broth, beans, and vegetables. To plan for eating emergencies, you can stash a can of vegetarian white chili in your cupboard and add the leftover rotisserie chicken to it. You'll be guaranteed more protein in your chili and you'll avoid that canned meat texture.
Few things are as delicious and simple as toasted tortilla and melted cheese. Your favorite after school snack is still a perfect end-of-a-long-day meal. The secret to upping the outcome is adding fresh herbs and whipping up a delicious spicy mayo dipping sauce.