Ever buy a rotisserie chicken, eat half of a breast for dinner standing over the kitchen counter, then put it in your fridge to throw the rest away 3 days later? Yeah, uh huh, me either.
Actually, this used to be my M.O. until I started making a conscious effort to waste less food. When you live alone but love to cook, it’s not an easy thing to do. Especially when you’re not a fan of reheated leftovers.
I give loads of meals away to friends and my favorite bartenders, and I freeze what can be frozen for later, but still lots was getting tossed into the garbage. The leftovers from the go-to easy dinner grab, rotisserie chicken (found ready-to-eat in practically every grocery store), always seemed to end up there.
This post begins our series on great ideas for rotisserie chicken leftovers. There are tons out there! Tell us about yours in the comments below!
The other night after about 8 straight days of working without a break and surviving on Cheez-It snack packs and granola bars, I started craving rice and gravy…a southern girl staple. I happened to have a 3 day old rotisserie chicken in the fridge, mysteriously missing half a breast, so I got to work.
- Leftover rotisserie chicken
- 1 yellow or white onion
- 4-5 stalks celery
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or preferred cooking oil)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups chicken stock (warm on the stove)
- Seasonings: salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, kitchen bouquet
Start with your chicken. Separate the individual chicken pieces and then make slices with your knife in each piece. I leave the bones in the dark meat but remove the breasts from the bone. Set aside.
Next, finely chop one onion and 4-5 stalks of celery.
Begin to saute the onion and celery in a large skillet over medium heat in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add salt, pepper, and a pinch of thyme to season. Stir and cook until the vegetables soften.
Next, add about two tablespoons of flour and stir for a few minutes over medium heat until the flour is cooked.
Now, slowly, begin adding your warm chicken stock about a half cup at a time, whisking as you go to incorporate it without lumps.
Bring this back up to a simmer and allow it to thicken into a gravy. This should take just a minute or two of simmering. Now, add a capful (from the 4 oz bottle) of kitchen bouquet. I’d bet that’s about 1 teaspoon. A little of this stuff goes a long way. That’s going to make your gravy nice and brown and add great flavor, too. Once that’s mixed in and everything is simmering, give it a taste and reseason to your liking.
Now add in your chicken pieces, cover and simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is falling apart. Stir it often during this time to ensure nothing sticks to the pan.
Serve over steamed rice and enjoy!