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Get the chicken and be creative

By Deirdre Parker Smith

deirdre.smith@salisburypost.com

When you have to have something that everyone will eat, and you don’t want to spend all day fixing it, your answer is rotisserie chicken.

So many stores, and even club stores, have good rotisserie chicken. It is moist and tender, often very flavorful and already hot.

All you need, unless it’s a sliced chicken mashed potatoes and peas night, is a few other ingredients to stretch that chicken out and jazz it up.

If you like to cook once and eat twice, using the rotisserie chicken is a great idea. You can use one half for one recipes, and the other for a second recipe. If you use the entire chicken, it might make two meals, or at least a meal and a lunch.

The casserole options are endless, from stirring shredded chicken into your macaroni and cheese, to adding it to a jar of spaghetti sauce and cooking pasta. You could spread it over pizza dough and top it with green peppers and onion, or mushroom, olives and sun dried tomato. Spread barbecue sauce on the pizza crust and and pre-chopped coleslaw mix for something interesting. Drizzle that with ranch dressing.

Picky kids might be willing to try some shredded chicken in their ramen noodles. And a chicken sandwich is an old-fashioned favorite you can dress up any way you like — how about Buffalo sauce and some blue cheese?

Some of these look like there are a lot of ingredients, but most of what’s listed should be in your pantry. There’s nothing too exotic.

Pick up a chicken (many stores have a special price on Sunday) and get creative.

Cheesy Mexican Cauli Rice

1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more, if needed

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 large head cauliflower, grated, or 4 cups riced cauliflower

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 cup shredded rotisserie chicken

1 (15 oz.) can black beans drained and rinsed

1 c up corn kernels (fresh, frozen or canned)

1 cup chopped tomatoes

2 jalapeños, thinly sliced

1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

1 cup shredded cheddar

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and add onion and cook about 5 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic, oregano and cumin and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Put grated cauliflower into a clean dish towel and twist to drain excess liquid.

Add a splash more oil to skillet if it seems dry, then add drained grated cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Stir in chicken, black beans, corn, tomatoes, jalapeños and cilantro.

Top with cheeses and cover with lid to let cheese melt, 2 minutes.

— Delish

Chicken Bacon Ranch Bubble-Up Bake

6 slices bacon

6 Tbsp. butter

6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

3 cups whole milk

3 cups shredded cheddar

2 large heads, broccoli, cut into small florets

3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1 (16.3 oz.) can refrigerated biscuits

2 tsp. ranch seasoning mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13 baking dish with cooking spray. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes. then drain on paper towel-lined plate. Wipe skillet clean.

In the same skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook until bubbly, about 1 minutes. Gradually stir in milk and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in cheese and cook until melted. Season with salt and pepper and stir in broccoli, Remove from heat.

Spread broccoli mixture into the bottom of the baking dish, then top with chicken. Cut each biscuit into eighths and scatter on top of chicken. Chop bacon into small pieces and scatter on top of biscuits, then sprinkle with ranch dressing.

Bake until biscuits are golden and cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Chicken Salad Melts

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast

1/4 cup plain fat=free Greek yogurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tsp. chopped fresh dill

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 green onions, thinly sliced

6 whole wheat English muffins, split and toasted

3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)

3/4 cup thinly sliced (or chopped) apple

6 lettuce leaves

Preheat broiler to high

Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well. Place 1/3 cup chicken mixture on bottom half of each muffin. Top evenly with cheese. Broil 1 minutes or until cheese melts. Top sandwiches with apple lettuce and top half of muffins.

Several reviewers wrote that adding chopped apples to the salad made the sandwich less slippery.

Lemony Chicken Soup with White Beans and Potatoes

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp. dried organo

1 tsp. fennel seed

1 1/4 pound new potatoes, quartered

8 cups chicken broth

2 (15.5 oz.) cans white beans, rinsed

4-5 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1/2 cup mixed herbs (dill, chives, parsley)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion, celery, salt and pepper and cook vegetables until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add oregano and fennel sees and cook 1 minute. Add the potatoes and broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer and cook until potatoes are almost tender, 9-11 minutes. Stir in the beans and shredded chicken until heated through, check potatoes for doneness and add the herbs and lemon juice. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

— Lesley Hunt, BuzzFeed.

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