5 Fast dinner fixes for rotisserie chicken

Michele Borboa, MS

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Since roasting a whole chicken and serving it with all the fixings isn't usually on a busy mom's daily agenda, supermarkets have come to our rescue with ready-to-eat rotisserie chickens. Juicy, delicious and ultra-versatile, rotisserie chicken can certainly be served plain with a side of boxed stuffing, but why limit your dinner choices? Here are five fast chicken dinner fixes the whole family will love.

Chicken papaya quesadillas

Chicken papaya quesadillas

Serves 4

You can't go wrong with cheese and chicken, but add some succulent sweet fruit and you turn ordinary quesadillas into out-of-this-world delicious. If ripe papaya isn't available, swap in mango, peach, apple, pear slices or even a handful of berries. Don't knock it til you try it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup diced ripe papaya (or other fruit you have on hand)
  • 2 green onions, sliced (green and white parts)
  • 4 tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, papaya and green onions.
  2. Lay tortillas on a flat surface and sprinkle the bottom half of each tortilla with some of the cheese, using about half of the cheese.
  3. Lay chicken filling over cheese then top with remaining cheese. Fold tortillas over to form semi-circles.
  4. Generously spray a large griddle or skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat to medium.
  5. Lay quesadillas on griddle or skillet, pressing firmly with the back of a spatula.
  6. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom side of quesadillas is lightly browned. Carefully flip and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes or until the second side is lightly browned. Serve hot.

Thai chicken wraps

Serves 4

Quick to fix chicken wraps can be served for a filling lunch or dinner when you're running short on time.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • A few grinds black pepper
  • 4 tortillas
  • 2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips
  • 2 green onions, sliced (green and white parts)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

  1. In a small food processor or bowl, blend together peanut butter, tamari or soy sauce, sesame oil, chili sauce and black pepper.
  2. Lay tortillas on a flat surface and spread each with peanut sauce.
  3. Place 1/2 cup diced chicken and a few strips of bell pepper on each tortilla. Scatter with green onions and cilantro.
  4. Working with one tortilla at a time, roll tortilla around chicken filling, tucking the bottom of each tortilla in to keep filling from falling out when wrap is picked up for eating.

Chicken mango chutney turnovers

Yields 8

Puff pastry is a staple in my kitchen because it can transform savory or sweet ingredients into a delectable meal. These chicken turnovers deliver a sweet-tangy surprise with the chutney. Serve turnovers with a side salad or roasted vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 3/4 cup mango chutney
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted cashews
  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, chutney, parsley and cashews.
  3. Unfold puff pastry and roll a few times with a rolling pin. Cut each sheet into four even squares.
  4. In a small bowl, beat egg and water to mix. Brush the outer edge of each square with some of the egg.
  5. Divide chicken mixture evenly among squares. Fold squares diagonally to make triangles. Press edges firmly together to seal.
  6. Brush the outside of each turnover with egg. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Chicken, roasted beets and brown rice

Serves 6

Roasted beets and carrots lend a caramelized sweet flavor to this chicken and rice dish.

Ingredients:

  • 3 golden beets, scrubbed, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 to 3 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • Crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss beets and carrots with 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.
  3. Spread beet mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and caramelized.
  4. Heat remaining oil in a large, wide pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add spinach and cook, stirring often, until leaves begin to wilt.
  5. Add chicken, roasted beets and carrots, raisins, orange zest, orange juice and rice to the pot and stir to combine.
  6. Serve chicken and rice mixture garnished generously with crumbled feta.

Chicken panzanella

A classic Italian salad, panzanella gets a juicy boost of protein by tossing diced chicken into the vegetable-rich mix.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces Italian bread, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 large vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, seeded, diced
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 to 3 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, toss bread with 1 tablespoon or so of olive oil. Spread bread cubes on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted. Set aside.
  3. In the same large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, cucumber, olives, basil, greens and chicken.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour vinaigrette over salad, tossing to coat. Add toasted bread and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

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Michele Borboa, MS
Michele Borboa, MS is a contributing editor for SheKnows.com specializing in health, fitness, and all things food. She is a veteran health and fitness professional, personal chef, and mom in Bozeman, Montana. She is also the author of the time-saving cookbook Make-Ahead Meals Made Healthy (Fair Winds Press, July 2011). You can contact Michele at michele.borboa@sheknows.com or give her a tweet at http://twitter.com/micheleeborboa.