There’s nothing I like better than a roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings–mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread stuffing, a side vegetable, and cranberry sauce. But I rarely have enough time during the week to prepare a big meal from scratch. So I often rely on rotisserie chicken and pre-cooked side dishes to get dinner on the table in a flash. Rotisserie chicken is convenient and economical–one bird can yield several meals. This week I prepared three meals from one chicken. Here’s how I did it:
Dinner No. 1–Lazy Cook’s Chicken Dinner
For this meal I microwaved the chicken until it was heated through (~ 5-6 minutes), microwaved a container of ready-cooked mashed potatoes, prepared cornbread stuffing using the microwave instructions on the side of the box, and opened a can of vegetables and a jar of chicken gravy, poured them into saucepans, and heated them through. Finally, I opened a can of jellied cranberry sauce and sliced it. For this meal I was keeping it real–really easy, that is.
Dinner No. 2–Lazy Cook’s Chicken Sandwiches
On day two, I sliced some croissants and topped them with slices of leftover chicken breast that I warmed in the microwave, and topped that with mayonnaise, leftover sliced cranberry sauce, and salt and pepper. I served this meal with fresh fruit and iced tea. Easy, peasy.
Dinner No. 3–Not-So-Lazy Cook’s Chicken Pie
This meal features all the leftovers from Day 1’s meal–chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, and stuffing (yes, it’s in there), plus a few additional ingredients. This dish is more time consuming to prepare than the others, but it’s well worth the effort. Here’s what you’ll need to make a chicken pie:
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup potatoes, cubed (no peeling necessary)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1-2 cups de-boned chicken
- 1 1/2 cups chicken gravy (or chicken broth)
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup mashed potatoes
- 1-2 cups cornbread stuffing
- 1 cup vegetables (corn, green beans, or peas)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 2 frozen pie shells
- 2 cups Asiago cheese, shredded
In a large skillet, saute the celery, onions, carrots, and potatoes in butter over low heat until soft (about 10-15 minutes), stirring occasionally so the vegetables don’t brown. Stir in the chicken, gravy (or chicken broth), half-and-half, mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, sugar, salt, and poultry seasoning and heat through. Pour into two frozen pie shells, top with shredded Asiago cheese, place on a cookie sheet, and bake in a 400° oven for 30 minutes, or until the pie crust and cheese are golden brown. Serve with a tossed green salad.