This is an excerpt from Eater’s debut cookbook.
A rotisserie chicken in your fridge means you’ve got meals for a whole week. Shred the meat to bulk up salads and grain bowls, add it to noodles and sandwiches, make tacos with it, dip it in sauce for a snack. Yangban chef-owner Katianna Hong will season her shredded chicken before storing it in the fridge. “When you season your chicken with sesame oil and soy or fish sauce before you put it away, it helps it not taste refrigerator-y. It’s just a good base seasoning — and then you can do whatever you want with it.”
When you’ve picked the frame of the chicken clean, don’t throw the bones away. “I think the true value in a grocery store rotisserie comes from saving all the bones and jus and making a delicious broth out of it,” says Golden Diner chef-owner Sam Yoo. The basic technique is simple: Throw the entire carcass and any juices into a Dutch oven, add some aromatics (think garlic, onions, carrots), some peppercorns, and herbs (bay leaf and parsley are typical). Cover with water, bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat and cover it. Simmer for about two hours, or do the whole thing in an Instant Pot, skim it, and store it in the fridge or freezer.
Between the shredded meat and the broth, you now have two base components for countless meals. Here are just a few ways chefs use rotisserie (or leftover roasted or boiled) chickens.
Serve up curried chicken lettuce wraps by combining curry powder and mayonnaise and stirring it into your chopped chicken. Use iceberg lettuce to make the wraps, and if you’re able to, pair it with some sort of slaw like a green papaya salad. (We’ve got a recipe for a great one from Portland chef Earl Ninsom in the cookbook!).
Recommended by: Toro chef-owner Jamie Bissonnette
Make chicken empanadas with premade pizza dough: Season shredded chicken with garlic and any spices you’d like and add some peppers, onions, and spicy relish. Shape the dough into small, flat circles, fold it over the chicken mixture to create half-moons, and close with a fork. Bake or fry and serve with more relish and avocado.
Recommended by: Fritai chef-owner Charly Pierre
Try a cheater chicken shawarma by warming the chicken in your pan with a shawarma spice blend (don’t overlook premade spice blends, or check out the recipe we’ve got for one from Zahav in the cookbook) and eat it with good pita, lavash, or any flatbread, tahini, and a chopped salad of cucumber, tomato, lemon, and olive oil.
Recommended by: Zoe Food Party chef Zoë Komarin
Once you’ve got a basic chicken broth, add veggies, herbs, noodles, and shredded chicken for chicken noodle soup.
Recommended by: My Abuelas Food chef Luis Martinez
Make a homey jab chai soup: In a large pot, stir-fry some garlic, and then add carrots, napa and green cabbage, daikon, shiitake, bok choy, Chinese celery, Chinese broccoli, and any other vegetables you’d like. Season it with soy sauce, a pinch of brown sugar, and some black pepper. Add rotisserie chicken meat and the bones, cover with water, and simmer for at least an hour. (Remove the bones to serve!)
Recommended by: Luv2Eat Thai chef-owners Noree Pla and Fern Kaewtathip
Make congee using chicken broth and rice (you can even toast the rice in chicken fat first if you want), then shred the chicken and add it in when it’s almost done.
Recommended by: 886 chef-owner Eric Sze
Take your chicken congee, pour it into a baking dish, and top it with Pillsbury biscuits. Pop it into the oven and bake for a Yangban-style congee pot pie.
Recommended by: Yangban chef-owner Katianna Hong
Adapted from EATER: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes by Hillary Dixler Canavan. Text and illustrations copyright © Vox Media, LLC. Text by Hillary Dixler Canavan and illustrations by Alice Oehr. Photography copyright © 2023 by Laura Murray. Published by Abrams.