Robin’s Healthy Take: Rotisserie Chicken to the Rescue!

by in Robin's Healthy Take, December 3, 2010
A rotisserie chicken can be the start of many easy dinners, from empanadas to sautes to soups.

How awesome is the smell of rotisserie chicken? My grocery store roasts ‘em right up front, so I can smell the caramelized bird the minute I walk through the doors!  I always think, “What can I do with that chicken tonight?”

Rotisserie chickens are a great dinner shortcut year-round, but they’re especially perfect for this time of year, when half my brain is focused on cooking while the other half is making holiday to-do lists.  But I don’t slam the chicken on a plate, add a veggie and call it a day — I get creative by incorporating the meat into a stellar meal for four.  Here are some of my favorites.

Chicken Tortilla Soup: Combine in a large saucepan: 2-4 cups chicken broth (depending on how thick/thin you like your soup), 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (undrained), 2-3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat, 1/2 cup frozen corn, 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies and 1 tablespoon salt-free Southwest seasoning (sold in the spice aisle). Simmer everything for 10-20 minutes and then stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with tortilla chips.

Chicken Empanadas: Combine 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat and 1/2 cup prepared salsa; mix to combine.  Unroll 2 refrigerated pie crusts. Top one crust with 4 equal mounds of the chicken mixture (space it so you can cut four equal wedges.)  Top each mound with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Top with second pie crust. Cut out four wedges. Pinch the edges together to seal.  Transfer to a baking sheet and prick the tops with a fork.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Chicken Curry With Golden Raisins: Whisk together in a large saucepan: 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and 2-3 tablespoons mild or hot curry paste (available in the international foods aisle). Stir in 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat and 1/2 cup golden raisins. Simmer 10 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over rice. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds, if desired.

TELL US: What do you make with rotisserie chicken?

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.

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