Before becoming a mom, I'd come home from the market with every kind of chicken imaginable: organic, free-range, breasts, whole, the sum of its parts, and its parts. The only kind of chicken I'd never come home with was a cooked one. I'd eyed those rotisserie birds, drawn to them first by my nose. (Is there anything on earth that smells better than a chicken roasting?) But buy one? Never. Then I had a baby, and my fantasy of stirring a luscious risotto while my sweet pea cooed nearby in his bouncy seat suddenly seemed laughable. Now a week doesn't go by that I don't furtively, but with glee, toss a rotisserie chicken into my grocery cart.
It's easy enough to carve the chicken and serve it with a baked sweet potato and something green or use it in a chicken Caesar salad, but I'm always cooking, even when I'm "not cooking." Here are a few of my favorite ways to use a rotisserie chicken when I bring one home to roost.
By Laraine Perri, a food writer in New York City.