Rotisserie chicken saves time and money


By Bill Colvard - [email protected]



A rotisserie chicken ready to be carved, providing a teachable moment to children unaware that birds have two legs and two wings.


Submitted photo

Rotisserie chicken also makes some fine chicken salad. This one has dried cranberries and is served as a sandwich on a croissant.


Submitted photo

Rotisserie chicken makes a quinoa chicken enchilada casserole quick and easy.


Submitted photo

Ever wondered why the price of a whole uncooked chicken, giblets tucked inside in a little bag, costs more than a whole rotisserie chicken that is already cooked and ready to eat?

Granted, giblets don’t come with the rotisserie chicken, but most folks throw those away or feed them to the dog anyway. That can’t be it.

Uncooked chicken is sold by the pound, but rotisserie chickens are sold by the chicken, which means one price no matter how big the bird is. They’re all the same price, so do like your mama taught you and always dig around for the biggest, prettiest one you can find for maximum savings.

The biggest rotisserie chickens of all are at Costco, in case you didn’t know. Rotisserie chickens from other supermarkets — and they all have them nowadays — can range from one and a half to two pounds, according to Money magazine, but Costco chickens are at least three pounds, some of them considerably more than three pounds. Those other chickens range from five to seven dollars depending on where you shop, but that big ole Costco rotisserie chicken is $4.99 and has been for years and years and years.

So if you haven’t had a pay raise in years, it’s kind of nice to eat something that hasn’t had a price increase in years.

As to why a rotisserie chicken is cheaper than uncooked chicken, it’s a concept marketing experts call a “loss leader.” it’s when a retailer sells something at minimal profit or at a loss to lure you into the store. Which means instead of going to Costco once a month for a bale of toilet paper and a year’s supply of ranch dressing, you’re going to come in every week for a juicy, cheap rotisserie chicken, and while making your way to the chickens, you might also pick up an 80-inch flat-screen television or a distressed leather, double-wide recliner with built-in electronic controls. It happens.

They sell 157,000 of the scrumptious, ready-to-eat birds every day, 87 million of them last year, up from 60 million in 2013 when $4.99 was merely a good deal, and not the stupendous deal it has become, also according to Money magazine. Since virtually nobody leaves Costco with only a chicken in their cart, the “loss leader” strategy is probably working for them.

For families who yearn for the good old days when the whole family gathered around the table for a real meal instead of scarfing own fast food from a sack, a rotisserie chicken is the best of both worlds. With a judicious selection of side dishes, purchased already prepared or quick and easy homemade, a real meal can cost no more than fast food and take little or no more time.

Technically, the rotisserie chicken is still processed food, as the marinades and rubs are applied in a processing factory before the chicken comes to the grocery store to be cooked, and the added ingredients are said to be salt, sugar and spices. Even with the FDA’s very generous definition of “spices,” it’s probably better for you than fast food, and it can’t be stressed enough, it looks like real food.

If your family’s dinner table conversation skills have grown rusty from lack of use, the carving of the chicken is going to serve as a real icebreaker. Your children will learn that a chicken only has two legs, two thighs, two wings and a limited amount of breast. These facts of nature must be acknowledged by your progeny if more than two of them want the leg, or one of your kids eats only wings and desires at least three of them. Discussions will need to take place, compromises will have to be reached, useful life lessons will be learned. All for the low, low price of $4.99.

While you’re at it, why not grab another rotisserie chicken for later in the week. The number of things you can do with it is almost endless. Some recipes follow. But any recipe that calls for cooked chicken is a candidate for rotisserie chicken. And when you and yours have picked those bones clean, throw them in a crockpot with a carrot and a little celery, fill with water, and cook on low for 12 hours for the best chicken stock ever. Strain the liquid into containers. Freeze if you won’t use it in the next few days. It’s delicious and almost free. What a combination.

Next week you’ll want to grab a few more rotisserie chickens when your toy poodle needs another 60-pound sack of dog food.

Rotisserie Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches

1 whole rotisserie chicken, shredded

1 cup finely diced celery

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup mayonnaise

chopped walnuts or pecans, (optional)

green leaf lettuce

croissants

Mix the first 6 ingredients until well combined. Add nuts if you want some crunch. Chill until ready to serve. Halve the croissants and top with green leaf lettuce and two heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftover chicken salad.

Quick Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Add additional veggies you have on hand or in your garden.

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

2 tbsp. mirin (sweet rice wine)

2 tbsp. chili garlic sauce

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tsp. fish sauce or additional soy sauce

1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided

2 cups instant brown rice

2 teaspoons sesame oil

4 cups fresh broccoli florets

2 cups cubed rotisserie chicken

2 green onions, sliced

In a small bowl, mix the first six ingredients and 1/4 cup chicken broth until smooth. Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add remaining broth; cook 1-2 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Stir sauce mixture and add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Stir in chicken and green onions; heat through. Serve with rice.

Chicken Enchilada Quinoa

1 cup quinoa

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 large onion, diced

1 jalapeño, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1 cup corn kernels

1 cup red enchilada sauce

1 -1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack

Chopped tomato, for garnish

Diced avocado, for garnish

Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until fluffy, 15 to 20 minutes. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, jalapeño, and garlic and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder and stir until combined, then add chicken, corn, and enchilada sauce (reserve 1 tablespoon for drizzling) and stir until combined. Add 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (reserve rest for later use) and stir until combined, then top with cheese. Bake until cheese is melty, 15 minutes. Garnish with tomato, avocado, cilantro, and reserved enchilada sauce and serve.

Risotto with Chicken and Mushrooms

1 quart chicken broth

1 to 1-1/2 cups water

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 pound sliced baby portobello mushrooms

1 small onion, finely chopped

1-1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth

1 tbsp. lemon juice

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

In a large saucepan, bring broth and water to a simmer; keep hot. In another large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons butter and oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion; cook and stir 6-8 minutes or until tender. Add rice; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until rice is coated. Stir in wine and lemon juice. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook and stir until wine mixture is absorbed. Add hot broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until broth has been absorbed after each addition, until rice is tender but firm to the bite and risotto is creamy. Stir in chicken, cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and remaining butter; heat through. Serve immediately.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet

This one’s not cheap, but it is quick and easy. Think French, without the fuss.

1 lb. penne

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp. flour

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. mustard powder

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1 cup thick-cut ham, chopped

2 cups shredded Gruyere

1/2 cups grated Parmesan

1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and cook until slightly golden, 2 minutes more. Pour in chicken broth and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, then add mustard powder. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid coats the back of a spoon, 10-12 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in cooked pasta, chicken, ham, and Gruyere. Sprinkle top with Parmesan. Bake until warmed through, 13-15 minutes. For a golden top, broil for an extra 2-3 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

A rotisserie chicken ready to be carved, providing a teachable moment to children unaware that birds have two legs and two wings.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Rotisserie-Chickeni.jpgA rotisserie chicken ready to be carved, providing a teachable moment to children unaware that birds have two legs and two wings. Submitted photo

Rotisserie chicken also makes some fine chicken salad. This one has dried cranberries and is served as a sandwich on a croissant.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_chicken-salad-croissant-sandwich.jpgRotisserie chicken also makes some fine chicken salad. This one has dried cranberries and is served as a sandwich on a croissant. Submitted photo

Rotisserie chicken makes a quinoa chicken enchilada casserole quick and easy.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_chicken-enchilada-quinoa.jpgRotisserie chicken makes a quinoa chicken enchilada casserole quick and easy. Submitted photo

By Bill Colvard

[email protected]

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

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