Have I mentioned how I like quick meals? These may not be ready in 10 minutes, but picking up a store bought rotisserie chicken surely speeds up the process. Invest $25, about 30 minutes and you’ll have dinner for 4 for 2 nights.
Most grocery stores have rotisserie chickens ready to go every day at dinner time. If you want something fresh and “whole” but don’t want to spend a ton of time on prep or cooking, grabbing a rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut. Even when 4 of us were eating, we never at the whole chicken the first night. Don’t pitch the left overs though! That’s tomorrow night’s dinner!
You can use just about any combo of veggies, but I prefer to stay away from potatoes or anything that you wouldn’t eat raw. I don’t want to spend 45 minutes roasting veggies. Mushrooms, baby carrots, broccolini and radishes were what looked good to me. If you’ve never grilled or roasted a radish, you should give it a try. The flavor completely changes. They are amazing!
There is absolutely no measuring in either of these meals! Use your eyes and you’ll be fine. For the veggies, they all go in a mixing bowl (after being rinsed) and I add a few tablespoons of olive oil and a good chug of balsamic vinegar. For seasoning, you can go as simple as salt and pepper or add some Italian herbs. Toss it all together and pour it in a baking dish. It hits the oven for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees.
While your veggies are roasting, you have plenty of time to completely prep your second meal. My chicken salad, which I happen to think is killer, is a family favorite. (It’s also a great way to use leftover turkey from those upcoming holiday meals!) You want to pick clean that chicken. Both thighs, the half breast that’s left plus any breast meat hanging onto the bones from the other side. Wing meat works great here too. Leave no meat behind! It’s faster than you think… you’ll have the chicken picked clean in under 5 minutes.
In my chicken salad, I use chopped chicken, diced apple, chopped celery, sliced grapes, a few sliced green onions, salt, pepper and mayo. Mix it all up, adjust your mayo and seasonings until you’re happy with the consistency and flavor, then store it in an air tight container in the fridge for tomorrow. I like to add pecans to mine just before serving.
If you catch the things you need on sale, you can make both of these for WAY under $25. I paid full price for most of my ingredients and still came out at roughly $23. If you don’t want chicken two nights back to back, easy enough… hold off on your chicken salad ingredients, but still pick that chicken clean. Toss the meat into a freezer bag and into the cold it goes. You can pull it out a day ahead and prep your chicken salad for another day.
Do you have any favorite shortcuts you take when cooking? The rotisserie chicken is one of my favorite shortcuts, but I know there are other great shortcuts too. Share your secrets with the rest of us in the comments!