Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Many Faces of a Rotisserie Chicken

I have a hard time resisting the rotisserie chickens at Ukrop's, Costco and Kroger whenever I smell them. On Tuesday I finally decided to give in and get one at Ellwood Thompson's, which made me feel better because I knew the name of the farm that the chicken came from. As a bonus, I was able to find some beautiful local and organic sugar snap peas there, which probably wouldn't have been in the regular grocery store.

Tuesday's meal ended up being shredded chicken (leg and breast meat) incorporated into a stir fry with soy sauce, garlic, leftover rice, and the crunchy peas. I tried some of the chicken meat by itself, and it was tender and flavorful, but still blended well with the rest of the dish.

On Wednesday, I reheated the succulent chicken in the oven and feasted on the wings and breast with broccoli and baked potatoes. It was still tasty, and didn't have that weird leftover poultry taste that many turkeys and chickens acquire after sitting in the fridge.

A first time trip to Helen's, dinner at the Greek Fest, and a cookout prevented me from making Gourmet's Chicken and Swiss Chard Enchilada Casserole until Sunday evening. I knew that with two thighs and a drumstick left, neither Davy nor I would be too excited about the chicken unless it was converted with other ingredients. We took the meat off the bones and shredded it in preparation for the casserole assembly.

There were a couple of modifications from the recipe: I bought a can of enchilada sauce from the grocery store because I didn't feel like taking the extra steps to make my own. Instead of corn tortillas, we used flour tortillas, which were already in the fridge. They were fairly large, so we only needed six, and we toasted them without oil in a 12" pan on the stove over medium heat.

I was pleased with the way the casserole turned out; the dark meat was rich enough to stand up to the tomato sauce and earthy flavor of the swiss chard. All that was left of the chicken - mostly just the bones - went into a big pot with some onion to be simmered for stock. It is now the following Tuesday and I am planning on straining the stock and pouring it into containers to freeze tonight. It is nice to know that I used the entire chicken...not bad for $9.99 and a week's work!

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