About 2 1/2 cups cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken (white and dark meat, no skin)
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons teriyaki marinade, such as Kikkoman brand (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook for several minutes, until softened. Add the tomato and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the chicken and cilantro, stirring to incorporate.
Cook until the chicken is heated through; stir in the teriyaki marinade, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold. Makes enough for 6 tacos.
Source: Adapted from Silvia Duarte.
Per serving: 130 calories, 17 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 90 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar.
Chicken Curry Salad
4- to 5-pound whole rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup coarsely chopped candied walnuts
1 cup diced green apple, such as Granny Smith (from 1 to 2 apples)
1 cup diced celery (from 2 to 3 ribs)
1/4 cup diced red onion (from about 1/4 onion)
3/4 cup mayonnaise, (preferably Hellman’s)
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
If the chicken is hot, allow it to cool slightly, then remove and discard the skin and transfer the meat to a large mixing bowl. (Keep the bones for making stock, if desired.) The yield is 5 to 6 cups of meat.
Add the raisins, walnuts, apple, celery and onion to the bowl and toss to combine.
Combine the mayonnaise, curry powder and brown sugar in a medium bowl; fold it into the chicken mixture and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 8 servings.
Source: Adapted from Scott Drewno.
Per serving: 330 calories, 21 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 22 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugar.
Peruvian Chicken Stir-Fry
1 whole rotisserie chicken (preferably Peruvian)
1 pound packaged frozen french fries (preferably Ore-Ida)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large white onion, cut lengthwise into thin slices
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut lengthwise into thin slices
1 medium jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into matchstick-size slices
1 medium clove garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, cored, halved, seeded and cut into thin slices
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
Steamed white rice, warm, for serving
Remove and discard the skin from the chicken. Pull off the meat in shreds or pieces and transfer it to a covered bowl or other place where it can be kept warm. The yield is 4 cups.
Cook the french fries according to the package directions, and keep them warm and crisp.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and the bell and jalapeno peppers. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes, adjusting the heat so they cook without browning. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds, then add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes. Pour in the vinegar and broth, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits that might be sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
Add the pulled chicken. Add the soy sauce a tablespoon at a time, keeping in mind that the chicken meat is already salty. Stir in the french fries and cilantro.
To serve, press individual servings of rice into a ramekin or similar-shape vessel and unmold them onto serving plates, if desired. Spoon the stir-fry next to the rice. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Source: Adapted from chef Jeff Tunks.
Per serving (based on 6): 390 calories, 33 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 95 mg cholesterol, 590 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar.
This phyllo-enclosed mixture of shredded chicken, chopped almonds and spices hails from Morocco. Serve with a simple green salad.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced thin (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, cut into very thin slices (about 1 tablespoon)
1 1/2 teaspoons saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 2/3 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth, warmed
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange (at least 5 tablespoons juice)
1/3 cup golden raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
About 1 cup (3 ounces) almonds, chopped fine
2 large eggs, beaten
1 3/4 pounds cooked chicken, shredded
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, for brushing, plus more as needed
12 sheets phyllo pastry
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the saffron, cloves, ginger, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce has thickened and the liquid has reduced by half, 10 to 15 minutes, adjusting the heat so that the broth is barely bubbling.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the orange juice, raisins and almonds, and stir to combine. Stir in the eggs and shredded chicken, mixing well. Allow the mixture to cool, then season it with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and use a little butter to lightly grease an 8 1/2- or 9-inch round straight-sided baking dish. Place the phyllo sheets in a stack and cover them with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.
One at a time, brush 6 sheets of phyllo dough with the melted butter and place them buttered side down in the prepared dish, staggering them so that they cover the bottom of the dish fairly evenly. Extend them out evenly over the sides of the dish. Spoon the chicken mixture into the dish and level it, then top with the remaining phyllo sheets, buttering each one and arranging them buttered side down so that the filling is completely covered. Pull the overhanging edges of the pastry sheets up and bend them toward the middle of the dish, so that they crimp up a little during baking. Brush the top of the bistilla with melted butter. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden.
Let the bistilla cool for 3 minutes before transferring it to a serving plate. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Source: Adapted from “A Month in Marrakesh” by Andy Harris (Hardie Grant, 2011).
Per serving: 480 calories, 36 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 26 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 160 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugar.
Aromatic Chicken Noodle Soup
1 tablespoon light oil
2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed and tough outer layers discarded, remainder halved lengthwise and minced
1 Thai red chile pepper, seeded and minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
4 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
5 ounces thick dried rice noodles, or egg noodles
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 medium lemon
Handful cilantro leaves
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the lemon grass, chili and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the chicken and the broth, and cook for 5 minutes to let the flavors develop. Add the noodles and cook according to the package directions. (It should take no more than a few minutes.)
Season to taste with soy sauce and pepper. Squeeze a little lemon juice into each serving and sprinkle with the cilantro. Makes 2 servings.
Source: Adapted from “Comfort & Spice” by Niamh Shields (Lyons, 2012).
Per serving: 670 calories, 48 g protein, 66 g carbohydrates, 21 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 175 mg cholesterol, 540 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar.
By Bonnie S. Benwick
Washington Post Service
In 1985, a fledgling shop with Boston in its name skewered and roasted its birds in rotating rows, so they basted each other with seasoned drippings until firm flesh morphed into Sunday dinner succulence. Since then, Americans have made takeout rotisserie chicken as much of a weeknight staple as a box of macaroni in the cupboard.
Statistics don’t tell the whole story, but they’re a good place to start. Six hundred million rotisserie chickens were purchased in U.S. supermarkets, club stores and similar retail outlets in 2010, the most recent year for which figures are available, according to the National Chicken Council. An additional 200 million were sold through food-service outlets. A market study by NPD Group, a consumer research firm, found that consumers 50 and older eat more rotisserie chicken than other age groups, and the higher the household income, the more it is eaten.
A classic roast chicken is certainly one of the easier entrees to master. Salt and pepper, a little fat rubbed into the skin and a lemon in the cavity can do the trick. If you’re a self-sufficient omnivore, an iteration or two ought to be in your repertoire. But even cooks who take pride in their own recipes have come to rely on a trussed, store-bought option that often costs less than the price of raw poultry.
Close readers of ingredient labels might find that yeast extract, oleoresin, sodium tripolyphosphate and the bewildering “natural flavorings” have been deployed. Most of those go toward flavoring and browning the chicken, says food scientist and author Robert L. Wolke.
And even though the list of additives on the label of Costco’s $4.99 birds appears to be longer than most, consumers love the product. Ongoing improvements and efficiencies sent 50 million rotisserie chickens through Costco checkout lines last year nationwide, a spokesman says.
Getting two or three family meals out of an inexpensive bird offsets the big advantage a home-cooked chicken has over its commercial cousins — crisped, golden brown skin. Retail containers that allow for successful rotisserie chicken transport have gotten greener and more technically advanced over the years, but they sure do a number on the chicken’s exterior, which gets clingy or splits in the time it takes to transfer a batch from store oven to heated store shelf.
The charms of juicy, warm rotisserie chicken fade further with refrigeration. The sodium solution infused in the flesh of a raw bird can create pockets of uneven saltiness in a cooked one. White meat can get mealy or stringy.
For best results, let the meat come to room temperature so you can assess texture and seasoning. Bland white meat that’s dry might be right for a fruity curried chicken salad, or shredded into a creamy tortilla soup. A highly spiced bird can hold its own with stir-fried vegetables. The remnants of a barbecue rub may be pronounced enough to reserve that chicken for pressed sandwiches.
In much of the rest of the country, Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the outdoor cooking season. And you can imagine how thrilled they’ll be to get out their grills in places like Minneapolis, where it snowed just a few weeks ago.
My family has been eating a lot less meat over the past few years. Oh, we still get nice steaks to throw on the grill, and when they show up on the table with oven-roasted potatoes and a mound of dressed arugula, the meal is cause for celebration. But more often than not, dinner will be an amply tricked-out salad with a loaf of bread, a bowl of farro topped with vegetables and a fried egg, or a spicy tofu stir-fry with rice.
Get the 5-Minute Herald VIA EMAIL
Join the Discussion
The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.
The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.
Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.