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10 (No-Cook!) Ways to Turn a Rotisserie Chicken Into Dinner Tonight

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We're in the dog days of summer, when all you want to do is sit by the A/C with a pint of ice cream. But don't sweat. We've got the best no-cook recipes to beat the heat in our newest series, Turn Off the Stove. (A/C optional, ice cream included!)

The late, brilliant Barbara Kafka once said: “When in doubt, roast a chicken.”

I try my best to live by her advice. After all, there are endless occasions when a roast chicken is welcome, and even more ways to enjoy its leftovers.

And yet. Come hot, sticky, sweaty August, I sometimes often don’t want to turn on the oven. This is very reasonable but also makes roasting a chicken very hard.

Luckily: Rotisserie chicken is here to save the day. Imagine it wearing a cape! Soaring through the sky! With cheering crowds down below! Just like its roasted counterpart, rotisserie chicken is a weeknight hero.

20 Times Rotisserie Chicken Gets You Halfway to Dinner

20 Times Rotisserie Chicken Gets You Halfway to Dinner by Ali Slagle

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Meet the Inventor of the Rotisserie Machine with a Cult F... by Kenzi Wilbur


All you have to do is swing by the supermarket. I always start with the simplest variety (no herbs or spices or such) to keep my dinner options open. From there, the possibilities are endless.

Here are 10 of the easiest ways I transform the store-bought superhero. And not a single one needs an oven or stove.

1. No-Mayo Chicken Salad

I like to borrow inspiration from Kenzi Wilbur, who borrows inspiration from her mother’s potato salad. It’s bold and bright and punchy. Chop the chicken into chunks. Mix with olive oil, whole-grain mustard, cider vinegar, capers, sliced cornichons, diced red onion, and minced tarragon and parsley, all to taste. Serve on thick, soft bread or thin, crunchy crackers.

2. Buffalo-ish Chicken Salad

This one does include mayo. Chop the chicken and toss with mayo, crumbled blue cheese, hot sauce (Frank’s Hot is the way to be), finely diced celery, and grated carrots. You could tuck this into a pita, scoop it up with potato chips, or just go at it with a fork.

Mark Bittman’s Minimalist Buffalo Wings

Mark Bittman’s Minimalist Buffalo Wings by Genius Recipes

Salad Lunch Box

Salad Lunch Box

Microwavable Nested Storage Bowls

Microwavable Nested Storage Bowls

A Creamy Buffalo Chickpea Salad That Just Happens to Be Vegan

A Creamy Buffalo Chickpea Salad That Just Happens to Be V... by Grant Melton


3. Literal Chicken Salad

You know, like chicken in a salad! Start with arugula, preferably baby. Add whatever fruit looks too dang good to pass up, like juicy peaches or plump blackberries. Now, some sort of cheese, say salty feta or fresh goat. Dress with lemon juice and so much olive oil.

4. Another chicken salad

This time, Caesar-style. Doctor up some mayo with mashed anchovies, minced garlic, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and all the black pepper. Toss that with some romaine and top with strips of chicken.

5. Any-night tacos

Take your pick of corn or flour tortillas. Smear the center with plain, full-fat Greek yogurt. Shred the chicken—I like to do this by hand but with a couple forks works, too—and add to the tortilla. Top with chopped lettuce, diced onion, and your favorite salsa.

6. Lettuce wraps

Prep a stack of iceberg or butter lettuce cups. Finely chop the chicken, plus some celery and scallions. Mix with soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and grated ginger, all to taste, plus a little sriracha if that’s your thing. Right before serving, top with lots of crushed, roasted peanuts (don’t worry, those can come from a jar).

Colby Garrelts' Sweet & Sour Pork Loin Lettuce Wraps

Colby Garrelts' Sweet & Sour Pork Loin Lettuce Wraps by Food52

Asian-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Slaw

Asian-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Slaw by Kendra Vaculin

7. Almost chicken club

A classic club sandwich includes: turkey or chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Since we don’t want to be frying bacon (sorry, bacon), we’ll turn to another crispy, salty option: potato chips. Slice the chicken as thinly as possible and don’t forget: three layers of bread! I like a soft whole-wheat best.

8. Pita pocket

Dollop some Greek yogurt in a bowl. Add grated cucumber, minced garlic, chopped olives, lemon juice, and dried oregano. Smear an unshy amount of this in a fluffy pita pocket. Fill with chopped chicken, hunks of tomato and cucumber, and all the feta in the world.

9. Cold coconut milk soup

Combine equal parts full-fat coconut milk and vegetable broth, then season with fish sauce or rice vinegar (or both!) and sugar to taste. Chill. Ladle into a bowl and top with: shredded chicken; crushed, roasted cashews; fresh mint, basil, and cilantro.

10. Banh mi-style summer rolls

Quick-pickle some grated carrots and daikon: Sprinkle with sugar and salt, then splash with rice vinegar. Let hang out for at least 15 minutes until wilted. Dunk a rice paper wrapper in water for a few seconds. Transfer to a work surface. Line the center with: chicken strips; the pickled veg; cilantro sprigs; pickled jalapeños; and a squiggle of Sriracha-spiked mayo.


How would you turn a rotisserie chicken into dinner tonight? Share your ideas in the comments!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: No-Cook, Turn Off the Stove