When we are going a million miles an hour, it’s just easier to pick up a rotisserie chicken at your local market so that dinner can be ready in a snap! Despite how good it tastes, some of us have seen more of our rotisserie chicken go to waste than we would care to admit because we weren’t exactly sure what to do with the leftovers.
It’s all about breaking the entire chicken down right away and always dividing it into different parts that you can use now or later for different purposes. Once you know how to do that, wasting any part of your rotisserie chicken will be a thing of the past.
It’s super quick and easy – here’s exactly how to do it:
CUT THE WHOLE PIECES FIRST
Cutting off the larger pieces first will make the process of using a whole chicken much easier. You’ll have sectioned off the parts you want to use in different dishes and can store them separately, making prep time faster later on. Make sure to use a sharp knife, then start by carving the legs, wings, and thighs.
If the chicken is really tender, they are going to fall off the bone. Divide the legs, wings and thighs as you wish and then slice up the breast. Remember to keep pushing the extra bits and bones into a separate pile. The whole chicken pieces can be plated and served together or divided up and stored for multiple meals depending on how many people you’re serving.
SAVE THE BONES
Use all the bones, along with the bits and ends that you have left to make a delicious stock. Nothing makes chicken stock more tasty than slow roasted bones and, in this case, roasted bones mixed with rotisserie seasoning. Making your own stock from scratch saves money and it really is ten times more flavorful than what the store offers. You can use it to make soups, sauces and gravies, or, pro tip, use it to cook rice and grains with for more added flavor.
To make your own stock, just sauté some carrots, onions, garlic, and celery in a little olive oil in a large stock pot until the onions are translucent. Throw in some fresh herbs like thyme, sage, parsley, or rosemary, then add any roasted bones and bits. Pour in plenty of water, then bring everything to a boil before reducing the heat and letting it simmer and reduce into a flavorful stock. A crock pot always works great as well, so you can let it simmer safely overnight. Once the liquid is no longer clear and takes on a brown hue, strain out the solids and cool it down or freeze for future use.
USE THE EXTRA JUICES FOR ADDED FLAVOR
You know that juice in the bottom of the rotisserie container? Please don’t throw it away! This is moist and delicious flavor, begging to be poured right back over the same chicken. White meat traditionally has less fat and flavor than dark meat, so this is where you want to use it most. It will always add more flavor and more moisture to your meals. Drizzle the juices over the sliced breast meat and also mix it into the leftover, shredded meat.
SHRED THE EXTRA MEAT FOR MORE MEALS
There are so many ways you can use shredded chicken, so you don’t want any of what’s left on the bones to go to waste! It is important to use extremely clean hands to pull and shred the meat. Your fingertips are important because they will feel for any bones or fragments that need to be pulled out and placed in the other, stockpile for later. Shred every bit of meat you can see, and if you don’t plan to use all the breast, or you prefer dark meat, shred it and mix it in. This is great meat for tacos, burritos, salads, soups or pastas – it’s so versatile!
Who would ever have thought that one rotisserie chicken could be utilized in so many ways? It really is about about how you carve, shred, and divide the chicken, enabling you to use every single part. We all want to save time and money so why let a good thing go to waste? With these easy techniques, you never will.