a rotisserie chicken

You read that right.  I am sharing how I take one Costco Rotisserie Chicken and turn it into 5 meals for my husband and me.  That’s FIVE MEALS, not five servings!  Plus, I use my InstantPot to make a delicious chicken soup from the bones, so technically that’s SIX meals!  And no, they aren’t chintzy, starvation diet-sized meals.

Ready for the deets?

Behold the Wonder of the Costco Rotisserie Chicken

I admit I arrived late to the Rotisserie Chicken party.  I make a pretty mean roasted chicken, and since I work from home it’s not usually an issue to pop one in the oven for dinner.  There’s nothing like the smell of a chicken (and baked potatoes) roasting in your oven, and I still pop an organic bird in there every now and then.

However, one day I was running errands, and my last stop was Costco.  I heard their rotisserie chickens were fab so I snagged one for supper.  Okay, not only are those roasty toasty beasties delicious, they are also HUGE!  It’s just the Mr. and me, and we aren’t big consumers of meat, so there were a lot of leftovers.  It didn’t take me long to realize that at $4.99, a Costco Rotisserie Chicken is the deal of the century!  One of their chickens gives me enough meat for 5 meals, plus I make soup from the bones!

How to get 5 meals from 1 rotisserie chicken - recipes at thewildolive.org

Here’s How to Get Five Meals for Two From One Rotisserie Chicken

Wow, that sounds like something from a WWII food rationing cookbook.  I assure you though, you won’t be going hungry!  And at $1 per meal, or 50 whole cents per serving, your budget won’t be going hungry either.  ; )

Rotisserie Chicken Meal One

When I bring my quarry home we straight up enjoy the legs and wings for dinner.  We both happen to love roasted legs and wings, and anyway, those parts are more of a pain to pick the meat off for leftovers.  I usually serve the roasted chicken with a salad.  This particular evening I made one of our favorites – a celery salad with walnuts and parmesan in a lemon-garlic dressing.  Oh, and some surprisingly tasty Walnut Bread from Lidl (I love me some Lidl!).  Do you have Lidl where you live?

Rotisserie chicken served with Bread and Celery Salad

After Dinner Prep for the Remaining Meals

After dinner remove all the remaining meat from the chicken.  Try to remove the meat in the largest chunks possible – this will help keep the meat moist as it waits to be turned into your delicious meals. Additionally, this practice makes it easier to keep the dark and white meat separate if that matters to you. Don’t forget to get all the meat off the back – that’s some tender vittles back there!

Put all the bones and skin in a gallon zip top freezer bag.  Then scoop out all the “jelly” in the bottom of the chicken container and add that to your bag o’ bones.  That jelly is solid gold – it’s the collagen and flavor rich drippings that will add mega deliciousness to the soup we’re going to make with the bones.  Pop your sack of bones in the freezer for later.

Once you’ve cleared out all the drippings from the container, put the reserved meat back in there, pop on the lid and refrigerate.  Yes, that is a huge whomp of meat!

deboned chicken from a rotisserie chicken

Rotisserie Chicken Meals Two & Three

One of our all-time favorite things to do with leftover chicken is make Curried Chicken Salad.  We. just. LOVE. it!!!  This salad is a wonderful blend of sweet, savory, crunchy, chewy, creamy and spicy. All the things!  I serve this salad in several different ways:  in butter lettuce cups; with crackers for dipping; generously stuffed in a soft, fluffy Martin’s potato roll, or all by itself with fruit or a veggie-based salad.  This particular evening I served it with Apple Cider Coleslaw, which is simply slaw veggies tossed in a sweet-tart vinaigrette made with apple cider vinegar, boiled apple cider, salt, pepper, celery seed and oil.

To make the Curried Chicken Salad I use half the leftover chicken (approximately 3 cups of meat), which makes enough salad for us for TWO meals.  I try to serve it with different sides so it doesn’t seem tooooo repetitive.

Curried Chicken Salad made from rotisserie chicken leftovers

Rotisserie Chicken Meals Four & Five

I use the remaining approximately 3 cups of leftover chicken to make any number of dishes that call for cooked chicken.  As with the curried chicken salad, this makes enough food for two meals for us.  You could make a hearty soup, a casserole, tacos/burritos, chicken pot pie, or what I made this time – chicken and biscuits.  Think chicken pot pie filling served with fluffy, crusty buttermilk biscuits.

Chicken and Biscuits

How to make Chicken and Biscuits

I don’t have a hard and fast recipe for this, but here’s what I did:

In two Tbsp. of ghee (clarified butter) sautee one small onion, 2 stalks of celery and 2 carrots (all diced) over med-low heat until tender.  Next sprinkle over a few Tbsp. of flour and stir for a minute or two.  Then add chicken broth and a healthy glug of half and half to envelop all the veggies in a creamy sauce.  Dice up the remaining leftover chicken and fold it into the veggies.   After heating everything through for several minutes and seasoning it with salt and pepper, scoop this tasty mixture into bowls and top with hot-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuits.  So YUM.

Yeah, I know.  I need to actually write down the deets and put this recipe up.  And those biscuits were fab too!  : )

Bonus Round:  Chicken Broth from the Rotisserie Chicken Bones

If you have an InstantPot – I’m still getting a grip on using mine – you can turn your bag of bones, skin and “jelly” into a quick, deeply flavorful soup.  Easy peasy, and here’s how:

To your InstantPot add:

  • One small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large stalk celery, with leaves, cut in 3″ pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut in 2″ pieces
  • 1/2 tsp (or so) of whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • the bones, skin and “jelly” from your rotisserie chicken (let them thaw or add 5 mins to the cook time)
  • enough water to just cover everything

Cook on the Soup/Broth setting for 45 minutes  Release the pressure and check your progress.  Does your broth look nice and rich while the bones are easily falling apart?  If no, cook another 15 mins or so.  If yes, strain out the solids and discard.  You now have some amazing chicken broth.

Of course you can make chicken broth on the stove, but it takes hours!  If that’s your plan, save up at least 3 chickens’ worth of bones, etc. and make a BIG pot.

Once my broth is done, I usually tumble in more carrots and celery, and simmer them till they are tender.  Then I add cooked egg noodles for a quick chicken noodle soup.

There you have it!  Five meals for two peeps (plus a bonus soup) from one rotisserie chicken!

Don’t forget to pin this post to your recipes board for future inspiration! 

And be sure to share it with anyone you know who loves a dinner deal or needs some fresh ideas for leftover chicken.

Enjoy!

Elizabeth

How to get 5 meals from 1 rotisserie chicken - recipes at thewildolive.org