Kick off family meals with ease

Kick Off Family Meals with Ease

Friday Night Football is a mainstay in the south.  With after school practices for players, cheerleaders, and band members, not to mention travel time to get to the game, families can be pushed to find time for a nutritious easy meal.

Why not take advantage of chicken in the deli at your local market for a ready-to-use solution?  You can use the deli prepared rotisserie chicken to make a variety of meals.  Here are a few tips and tricks to make the most of a deli prepared chicken whether you have a few minutes or a little extra time on a weekday or weekend.

Things to keep in mind when buying a deli prepared rotisserie chicken:

  • Think Basic. Plain chickens with minimal seasonings can be used in more recipes that call for cooked chicken. Flavored chickens are great if you don't plan to use the leftovers for something else.
  • Debone the chicken as soon as you arrive home. It is easier to remove from the bone when it is warmer.
  • Save the bones, skin and juices from the carton. If you have time, place this in a saucepan with just enough water to cover them. Boil for about 30 minutes and remove skin and bones from saucepan. You are left with a delicious broth that you can use to cook rice, pasta or potatoes in or place in the refrigerator to use later for soup stock.
  • The larger the breast on the chicken, the more meat and the less likely it is that the chicken will be dry from being under a heat lamp or in a warming unit at the store.
  • Shredded or chopped chicken can be put in any recipe calling for cooked chicken or used as a topping on pizza, salads, in tacos or burritos.
Barbeque Chicken Pizza
  • 1 to 1 ½ c. cooked chicken, chopped
  • ¼ c. barbeque sauce
  • ½ c. marinara sauce
  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. prebaked pizza crust
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 c. thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, if desired

Preheat oven to 425°.

In a small bowl, mix the barbeque sauce and marinara sauce.  Spread evenly over the pizza crust.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Arrange cooked chicken chunks and red onion slices over the top.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove from heat, sprinkle with cilantro and let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Chicken Spaghetti
  • 1 (12 oz.) pkg. angel hair pasta
  • 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
  • 1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 3/4  (8 oz.) pkg. processed cheese, cubed
  • 2 c. chopped cooked chicken
  • ½ (4 oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain and return to pot.

To the pasta add the diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, cream of chicken soup, processed cheese, chopped chicken, mushrooms, salt and pepper.  Cook and stir over low heat until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through.

Chicken Filling for Tacos & Burritos
  • 1 c. cooked chicken, chopped
  • ¼ onion, sliced
  • ¼ green bell pepper, sliced
  • Flour tortillas or crunchy taco shells
  • Optional:  Sour cream, salsa, grated cheese, cooked rice, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce

Saute onion and bell pepper in a medium skillet until soft.

Place chopped chicken on top of sauté mixture and spray with cooking spray.  Heat thoroughly.

Assemble burrito/taco with chicken, sautéed vegetables and choice of assorted toppings.

For more information, contact:


Nancy A. Freeman, County Director

Harrison County Extension Service

(228) 865-4227