Rotisserie Chicken and Pecan Salad with Roasted Asparagus
One of the easiest ways to eat healthy when faced with a busy schedule is to let someone do part of the work for you. Using a rotisserie chicken from the market is an incredibly versatile and delicious way to save time during a busy work week while adding lots of flavor.
The key to getting one or many great meals out of a rotisserie chicken in my opinion is to break the chicken completely down in an effort to minimize waste. Start by grabbing the leg by the thickest part and breaking it away from the bird. Similarly to the leg, transition to the wing and grab the thickest part of the wing, snapping it off, and put it on the cutting board. Repeat with the other leg and chicken wing. To get to the breast meat, start by peeling the skin off the chicken from the breast as best as you can. From there, you can run your fingers down either side of the breast bone and remove the breast meat in a large chunk or chunks. Place the breast meat aside on the cutting board as well, separate from the other pieces.
Now that the white breast meat has been removed, go back to where the wings and legs were and pick away at the thigh meat and other large chunks of meat on the sides and back of the chicken. I like to put all of this meat in yet another separate pile on the cutting board. When all the dark meat from the thighs and other areas are picked clean, you should pretty much be left with just some chicken bones and other not quite as edible parts. You can toss these parts if you like, but they can also be saved and made into a wonderful chicken broth another time.
I really like to take the chicken dark meat as well as other chicken scraps and separate it on the cutting board. What I do is take a large chef’s knife and chop all that meat down into very fine, tiny bits of chicken. By doing this, the meat gets more of a uniform texture and while I am chopping, I can pick out any undesirable bits of fat or anything I do not feel like adding to my dish.
With the chicken dark meat all chopped up finely, I take the larger breast pieces and cut them into much larger chunks to showcase them better. By now, I usually already know which direction I want to go in with the chicken for the evening’s dish. Tonight, it turned into a yummy rotisserie chicken salad with pecans for some crunch.
This evening’s chicken dinner salad was going to remain pretty simple. Trying to keep the dish a bit lower in carbohydrates, I weighed out 2 oz of pecans for the dish as about a 1 oz serving for each of us.
The main ingredients go into a mixing bowl and it gets an incorporating stir binding all the ingredients together. With a few turns of the pepper mill, a pinch of dried dill, and a splash of hot sauce, this quick and easy chicken salad is a few stirs away from the dinner table.
A very quick, easy, and delicious way to make a fast dinner. Less than half of the chicken was used making this dish, and the leftovers yielded a few more dishes later in the week. Although I chose to add pecans and mayonnaise, the possibilities are limitless for what you can create with a rotisserie bird from the market. I encourage you to experiment. Or are you chicken?