From what I hear, most people are pretty busy. I know I am, anyway, and while I love to cook, between work and a life and the people in it plus a renewed commitment to exercising in the evening, there are many weeknights where cooking beyond opening a bag feels like torture.
Thankfully my local grocery store and chicken takeout places are slaving over a hot rotisserie, making these instant entrees available to me right by the front door.
I know, I know, I should make dinners on Sundays and freeze them. I should do the slow-cooker thing, and in a perfect world I would be on point with this weekly.
But I'm not.
What I am well capable of doing is running into my local grocery, or more frequently one of the many yummy Peruvian rotisserie joints that have sprouted up all over the D.C. metro area, and purchasing a chicken. The Crisp and Juicy Peruvian chicken chain is my favorite, although I have to watch my side items, because while fried yucca is delicious, it is not in my everday fat and calorie allotment. And I could eat this stuff every day, I'm serious.
Frankly, this chicken meets all of the criteria I need for a workaday evening main course. It's a good source of protein. It's not out of control with fat and calories (although sodium is admittedly an issue here, because I'm not disciplined enough to not eat this skin, are you kidding?) And? I don't have to cook it.
Sometimes I just cut it up on plates and serve with vegetable side dishes, like broccoli or asparagus. However, I am much more likely to use the chicken as a topping on a fresh green salad. I start with a Romaine or red lettuce base, add green and red peppers, grape tomatoes, carrots and maybe even some garbanzo beans. Top with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil combination, and there you have a somewhat low fat and carb dinner option, low in preservatives and sugar too.
Some people who are far more disciplined chefs than I am claim you can get several meals out of one chicken, but I have to admit that I rarely think beyond dinner on nights when speed and satisfaction are my priority. You could surely save the remains for soup, but generally speaking I want my soup bases to be less seasoned than your average takeout chicken. I'm thinking I could manage to stretch it for a lunch, though. So next time I have some left over, I'm going to try Kalyn's Chicken Salad With Green Olives, Celery and Green Onion, or the Barefoot Contessa's Chicken Salad Veronique. (A hat-tip to my friend Danielle at Foodmomiac and her daughter for suggesting the latter.)
Any rotisserie fans among you? What else should I try?