San Juan Capistrano’s Best Grocery Store Deal: Rotisserie Chicken 5 Ways

So when did grocery store rotisserie chicken become such a big deal?

Rotisserie chickens have been sold in grocery stores since the 1930’s, but have really come into their own in the ‘90’s. Like you, the folks at  The Reed Team are spending more time at work, in traffic, hauling kids around had less time to cook. Plus, a rotisserie chicken is the best deal in town. According to grocery experts, the reason they are so affordable is they are considered a ‘loss-leader,’ meaning they pull you in for the chicken, and you’ll buy a bunch of other stuff at the same time.

There is so much you can do with a rotisserie chicken! If you’re in a chicken rut, here are 5 fresh ideas for your dining pleasure:

1) Balsamic Chicken Caprese Salad

You will love this colorful, tasty dish.Take your rotisserie chicken breasts and slice them into bite-sized pieces. Pour a couple of tablespoons of your favorite balsamic dressing over the chicken and let it marinade while you grab the other ingredients. Wash some romaine lettuce and cut into ribbons and lay it on the platter. Add the chicken, some cherry tomatoes, a sliced avocado and some mini mozzarella balls. Sprinkle additional balsamic dressing over entire salad, and top with thinly sliced ribbons of fresh basil. Yum…

2) Chicken Noodle Soup

Rotisserie chicken cuts your soup prep time..big time. After de-boning the chicken, cut it into bite-sized pieces. Meanwhile, saute some diced onion along with thinly sliced carrots and diced celery. Pour in two quarts of good chicken stock (homemade is always the best, but hey, we’re talking time-savers, so store-bought will work. Add a little dried thyme and some salt and pepper. Add a can of cream of mushroom soup and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the chicken to the pot and continue simmering. Take some good quality wide egg noodles and drop them into the pot, cooking according to the package directions. When the noodles are done, you’re set!

3) Spicy Chicken Soft Tacos

This is a great dinnertime hack. After you debone the chicken, shred the meat. In a medium-sized saucepan, add the chicken, a cup or two of chicken stock, some chili powder, cumin and a little cayenne pepper. Add a little bit of your favorite salsa until the consistency looks right. Gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Makes a great stuffing for spicy chicken soft or crunchy tacos: just add shredded lettuce, diced tomato and a little shredded cheddar cheese.

4) Curried Chicken Salad

You can pull this baby together in just a few minutes. Stir together ¼ C low fat mayo, 2 teaspoons curry powder and 2 teaspoons of water. Set aside. In a bowl combine 1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken, 1 small diced Braeburn apple, ? cup diced celery, 3 tablespoons raisins, and a dash of salt. Pour the mayo mixture in the bowl and mix to combine.  Add some romaine lettuce or good crusty bread and you’re set!

5) Chicken Tortilla Soup

You can slave over chicken tortilla soup with great results, but again we’re talking easy here. Saute a diced onion, diced green pepper, 1 diced jalapeno and some diced celery in a soup pot in a little olive oil. Add in some chili powder and cumin and stir to ‘bloom’ the spices. Now add 2 quarts good chicken stock, 1 can Rotel tomatoes and a can of regular diced tomatoes. Let that get good and happy on the stove at a heavy simmer for about half an hour. Add some shredded chicken to the pot and let it all combine for another 15 minutes. Serve with crushed tortilla chips on top, along with some shredded cheddar cheese. Tasty. De Nada.

Fun Fact:

Toronto-based casual restaurant chain Swiss Chalet actually has had a cable TV channel that is devoted to showing rotisserie chickens cooking..24 hours a day. Seriously. Every once in awhile a guy comes through with some Swiss Chalet rotisserie chicken sauce. It’s become a bit of a cult classic. You can find it on YouTube. You’re welcome.