Chicken · Fast meal · freezer · main dish

Getting the Most Out of a Deli-Purchased Chicken

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When was the last time you went to the grocery store or Sam’s Club and picked up one of these rotisserie chickens from their deli? Recently a friend brought one to me at a busy time and it was such a blessing!

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They are usually about $5 and are a great easy, delicious meal straight from the container. You might slice the meat and serve:

Potato Salad
Green Beans
Salad

It’s a wonderful busy night dinner.

However, if there are only two or three, you’ll have leftovers, but probably not enough to serve slices of meat again.  What do you do with the remains without wasting it?  I have a couple of ideas to help you get the most out of that $5 bird! Last week when I had that chicken, here is all the ways that it provided for us –

Chicken Salad – If you have enough white meat left, you could mix up the ingredients for lunch tomorrow!  This made for a delicious lunch!
Add:

  • White meat Cubes
  • Grapes
  • Pecans
  • Celery
  • Dressing – I mix together
    • Mayo
    • A little sour cream
    • Cinnamon

Served on bread or crackers, it totally transforms a rotisserie chicken into a whole new meal.

Chicken Pot Pie – You can use white meat, dark meat or a combination of both. It only takes 1 1/2 Cups of chicken – or you could use 1 cup and add more veggies!

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I make a low-fat version of Chicken Pot pie that is equal to any high fat version!

Don’t be afraid to alter the vegetables to what your family likes.  Changing that will not change its deliciousness!

Crust:
1 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
4-5 Tbl cold water

Mix dry ingredients.  Use a pastry cutter or fork and cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Add water, 1 tbl at a time, until all dough is moistened.  Form dough into ball.

On a lightly floured surface, flatten the ball of dough with hands.  Roll dough into a 13 x 8 1/2 inch rectangle.  Cover pastry and set aside.

Filling:

1 cup slices fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (or more) chicken broth
1 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp dried sage, marjoram, or thyme (thyme is my favorite!)
1/8 tsp pepper
1 10-oz package frozen peas & carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

Spray a cold medium saucepan with nonstick coating.  Add mushroom and onion.  cook and stir over medium heat about 4 minutes or till the onion is tender but not brown.

Meanwhile reserve 1 tbl of the milk. Set aside.  In a small mixing bowl gradually stir the remaining milk into the flour till smooth.  Stir into vegetable mixture in the saucepan.  Stir in the water, bouillon granules, sage, marjoram or thyme: and pepper.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Stir int he frozen peas and carrots and chicken.

Transfer mixture to a 12 x 7 1/2 x 2 inch baking dish.  Place pastry over chicken mixture.  Fold under edges.  Crimp edges of pastry with a fork.  Brush pastry with reserved milk.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or till the chicken mixture is heated through and the pastry is golden brown.  Makes 5 servings.

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This pie is so good, friends!  You could even assemble it and pop it into the freezer for another day!

Now, at this point I had stripped most all of the meat off the carcass.  Was it ready for the garbage?  No!  DON’T THROW THAT CARCASS IN THE TRASH CAN YET!!  There’s one more GREAT WAY to use that chicken!

Chicken Stock – No need to purchase cans or boxes of this in the store if you have a chicken carcass in your fridge!

Here’s the recipe and method I use to make chicken stock. Let me add one more thought – I have learned that it’s even easier to make it in the crock pot so I don’t have to babysit it.  I do the very same thing, only pop it into the crock pot and cook it all day long.  The house smells amazing and I have about 8-10 cups of chicken stock when it’s finished! Look how rich that broth is!

chicken broth

I pour it into small baggies, then put them in a large Ziplock bag and freeze them.

You could also just cube the meat off and freeze it in small freezer bags ready for soup, enchiladas or quesadillas, 

The possibilities are endless, and also so convenient because the chicken is already cooked.  You know, you might even consider buying TWO rotisserie chickens just so you can make so many great meals so easily!

When was the last time you enjoyed a rotisserie chicken?  What else do you do with yours?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

 

Cooking

What’s Cookin’ in the Country?

When I used to hear Ina Garten from Barefoot Contessa say that she prefers to use homemade chicken stock in her recipes, I wondered if she wasn’t being a little over the top.  Really?  Why make your own stock when it’s canned up nicely and readily available in the grocery store?

THEN, one Sunday last year our church had purchased about six rotisserie chickens from Sam’s Club for a gathering after the service.  When the meal was finished and I looked at all those carcasses left with some meat still lingering on the bones, I decided to take them home and try my hand at making stock.

The result?  It was so flavorful, so nicely seasoned and made so much that I have not gone back to the store brands since!  It takes a little while to cook, but there is nothing hard about it!

The benefit?  You can season it to your taste.  No more salt overload.  One of my roasted chicken recipes cooks with lemon inside the cavity.  I throw that in the stock too, and love the little lemon zing it gives the stock!  It’s also cost-effective!  It costs pennies to make of something that would’ve ended up in your trash can!

The process:

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Ingredients:

  • Chicken Carcass – leave any meat leftover on the bones
  • Large onion, peeled, cut in half
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, cut in large pieces
  • 2 Celery Stalks, cut in large pieces
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Thyme
  • Salt, pepper
  • Water

Place the carcass of the chicken in a large stock pot.  Add onion, celery, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.  Add enough water to cover by an excess of two inches.  Bring it to a boil.  Cover and turn to simmer, for 2 hours.  Check occasionally to see it has enough water.

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Remove pot from stove and place a strainer over a large bowl.  Pour liquid into the strainer.  I pick through the bones and remove any meat to use for pot pie or some dish like that and toss all the rest of the bones and veggies.

Allow stock to cool a little.  Rather than canning my stock, I freeze it. Here’s how I do that:

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I place a ziplock back into a one cup measuring cup and then using a funnel, I ladle in the stock.  After zipping the bag shut, I lay it flat and place the small bags into a gallon size bag just in case anything leaks.  I take out about three cups at a time to thaw and place in a mason jar to keep in the refrigerator so it will be ready to use.

There are so many uses for Chicken stock, like gravy!

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The sauce for Chicken pot pie requires chicken stock.  Homemade soups are so good with this homemade stock!  Using chicken stock instead of water for rice or couscous makes it really flavorful! (Have I used the word “stock” enough?!)

It only makes sense if you have a chicken carcass to use it to make stock rather than tossing it into the trash can!!!  I hope you’ll give this a try!  If you can boil water, you can make STOCK!

With love from my country kitchen,

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