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FOWL FRIENDLY: Five ways to use rotisserie chicken for your next easy dinner

by Julie Giuffrida Los Angeles Times (TNS) | September 6, 2023 at 1:54 a.m.
Spicy Chili Crisp Noodles (Los Angeles Times/TNS/Genevieve Ko)

Much as I love to cook, I am unwilling to feel as though I am working inside the oven while trying to get dinner on the table. I'm all about keeping the cooking to a minimum but still prefer to make my meals at home rather than eating out during the work week. My solution is this compromise: rotisserie chicken.

One of my favorite go-tos, rotisserie chicken is a terrific starting point, and one chicken can provide several meals. It is available at most local grocery stores. Yes, you can also pick up some side dishes and take home a full meal, but my fridge is often full of leftovers begging to be part of another meal.

When I don't have a lot of leftovers hanging around, there are plenty of staples and pantry items that can quickly come together for a tasty, easy dinner. These are some recipes that I use either as is or as a jumping-off point for what to do with my pile of shredded chicken.

If you are willing to tolerate the modicum of heat that could result from boiling water for pasta on the stovetop, try adding rotisserie chicken to Genevieve Ko's Spicy Chili Crisp Noodles. (You don't have to make the noodles or the chili crisp from scratch -- store-bought will do just fine.) The savory, spicy, tangy sauce will complement the chicken, which gives the meal an extra hit of protein.

Spicy Chili Crisp Noodles

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • ¼ cup chili crisp, divided use
  • Noodles
  • Finely chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and half of the chili crisp in a large bowl. Add the cold noodles and toss until evenly coated.

Divide among serving dishes and top with the remaining chili crisp and cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from By Genevieve Ko

  photo  Chicken Quesadillas With Tomatillo Salsa (Los Angeles Times/TNS/Perry C. Riddle)  Another stovetop option is Diane Morgan's Chicken Quesadillas With Tomatillo Salsa. Shredding some chicken and grating cheese takes almost no time and you can whip together a lively tomatillo salsa using fresh or canned tomatillos. Of course, there are plenty of tasty store-bought salsas if you don't have the time or inclination to make your own.

Chicken Quesadillas With Tomatillo Salsa

  • 1 (12-ounce) can whole tomatillos, drained and diced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh Anaheim or other mild hot pepper
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese, divided use
  • 1 ½ cups shredded grilled chicken, divided use

Combine tomatillos, lime juice, Anaheim and serrano peppers, salt and cilantro in small serving bowl. Set aside.

Heat heavy 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Place tortilla in pan and sprinkle one-third of cheese and one-third of chicken evenly on top. Cover with second tortilla. When bottom tortilla is nicely browned, 2 to 2 ½ minutes, use wide spatula to turn quesadilla. Brown other side. Place on cutting board. Repeat to cook other 2 quesadillas.

Use sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges. Arrange wedges on warm platter and serve immediately. Pass salsa.

Makes 3 large quesadillas.

Recipe from By Diane Morgan

  photo  Chicken Tabbouleh Salad (Los Angeles Times/TNS/Anacleto Rapping) Mayi Brady's Chicken Tabbouleh Salad will require you cook the tabbouleh, but for about 15 minutes of stovetop time you get a whole lot of bulgur pilaf to eat in salads, as a side dish or as the base for a bowl, which, of course, you will top with, among other things, some of that rotisserie chicken.

If you've ever eaten tabbouleh, then you've eaten bulgur wheat, even if you didn't know it.

Bulgur is whole wheat that has been cooked and cracked. It can be eaten after just being soaked in water, or it can be cooked -- as it has been here -- to make a bulgur pilaf.

Chicken Tabbouleh Salad

  • 4 cups bulgur pilaf (see note)
  • ¾ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped

In a large bowl, toss together the bulgur pilaf, parsley, currants, lemon juice, green onions, salt and pepper to taste and the chicken.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Add them to the bowl along with the lettuce and toss again. Garnish with green onions. This salad can be eaten chilled but is best at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: To make bulgur pilaf, chop an onion and 3 cloves of garlic. Cook them in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then add 1 ½ cups bulgur. Cover and simmer until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. This will yield enough for four side dishes and leave about 4 cups to make Chicken Tabbouleh Salad.

Recipe from Mayi Brady

  photo  The Curious Palates Chicken Salad (Los Angeles Times/TNS/Glenn Koenig)  Garnished with dried cranberries and roasted, sliced almonds, the salad is bound by a garlicky mayo that gets a punch of flavor from a freshly made basil pesto. (If you don't want to make your own aioli or pesto, you can buy those -- we don't judge.)

The Curious Palate's Chicken Salad


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup canola oil


  • ½ cup chopped arugula
  • ½ cup chopped basil
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil


  • Shredded meat from 1 whole rotisserie chicken
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted tomatoes (canned is fine)
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • Salt and pepper, if desired
  • 2 tablespoons sliced, roasted almonds
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries

Make the aioli: In a food processor or blender, combine the yolk, garlic, black pepper, salt and lemon juice. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil to form the aioli. This makes about 1 cup aioli, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the aioli will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 days.

Make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the arugula, basil, almonds and lemon juice. Pulse to puree the ingredients. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil to form the pesto. This makes about one-half cup pesto, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the pesto will keep for up to 2 days, covered and refrigerated.

To assemble:

In a large bowl, toss the chicken meat with ½ cup aioli and ¼ cup pesto to coat. Stir in the tomatoes and green onion. Taste and adjust the aioli and pesto, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish the salad with the roasted almonds and cranberries before serving. This makes about 1 ½ quarts salad, which will keep for up to 2 days, covered and refrigerated.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Recipe from Noelle Carter, adapted from the Curious Palate in Mar Vista.

  photo  Chicken and Heirloom Tomato Salad With Banyuls Vinaigrette (Los Angeles Times/TNS/Carlos Chavez) For powerful simplicity, Josiah Citrin's Chicken and Heirloom Tomato Salad With Banyuls Vinaigrette is just that: chicken (wink, wink -- from the one you just brought home, rather than one you've roasted at home as the recipe suggests), tomatoes and earthy, almost heady vinaigrette thanks to the Banyuls vinegar.

Ever since his earliest days in the kitchen, chef Josiah Citrin has had roast chicken on the menu -- and not just because it's a dining room requisite, like salmon. Depending on his mood, he might mention a dozen more preparations. This one serves leg and thigh meat with a salad of chopped heirloom tomatoes with Banyuls vinaigrette.

Chicken and Heirloom Tomato Salad With Banyuls Vinaigrette


  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Banyuls vinegar OR sherry vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced shallot
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Shredded leg and thigh meat from an herb- and lemon-stuffed rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups small heirloom tomato wedges (cut from about 10 ounces assorted heirloom tomatoes)
  • ½ cup chopped assorted basil leaves

Combine the mustard, Banyuls and red wine vinegars, lemon juice, water, shallot and garlic in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Season with salt and pepper and shake well. Add grapeseed oil and shake well again. Add olive oil and shake well. Any leftover vinaigrette can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator, then brought to room temperature and shaken well before using. Makes ¾ cup.

Toss the shredded chicken with the tomato wedges, basil and 6 tablespoons vinaigrette. Season to taste with black pepper and salt.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe from Russ Parsons and Josiah Citrin

Print Headline: Fowl friendly


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