The surprising shortcut in each of these delicious recipes is store-bought rotisserie chicken.
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Chef Rembs Layman prepares rich gumbo with house-made stock and a jerk seasoning blend from Christina’s Spice & Specialty Foods. To make this dish at home, use store-bought rotisserie chicken, canned chicken broth and supermarket jerk or Cajun seasoning.
Classic eastern North Carolina barbecue sauce has a vinegar—not a tomato—base. It’s delicious tossed with pulled chicken instead of the usual pork, and served the traditional way: piled onto soft buns and smothered under cold, creamy coleslaw.
This is a slightly modernized take on the very traditional Southern chicken casserole Jennifer Nettles’s mother likes to make. The recipe swaps out the usual canned cream of chicken soup in favor of a quick white sauce. A dash of hot sauce is the perfect finish.
Eric and Sophie Banh like to poach the chicken for this vibrant dish, then toss the salad with a homemade scallion oil. To save time, use store-bought rotisserie chicken and skip the scallion oil; the salad already gets plenty of flavor from the spicy, vinegary dressing and abundance of fresh herbs.
Grace Parisi proves that making potpie doesn’t have to take a long time with this one-skillet version, prepared with store-bought rotisserie chicken and—her stroke of brilliance—buttered white bread in place of the usual labor-intensive puff pastry crust.
Green Goddess dressing—a mix of mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs, anchovies and lemon—was created at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the 1920s, as a tribute to an actor starring in a play called The Green Goddess. The creamy dressing is typically tossed with a green salad, but it’s also addictive in Melissa Rubel Jacobson’s chicken salad, made with a rotisserie bird.
Chef Rene Ortiz serves modernist Mexican dishes at La Condesa in Austin. His smoky, tomatoey tortilla soup is a bit simpler and more classic than many of his recipes, but it still has an innovative touch: It’s enriched with butter, not tortillas.
This sweet-tangy curried chicken salad, tossed with mango and crunchy toasted almonds, was invented to honor the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and served at her coronation luncheon. While chef Tom Aikens follows the original recipe closely, he brightens the dressing with minced hot chiles and chunks of sweet mango.
Grace Parisi considered many classic salads, like Waldorf and Cobb, before deciding on her version of chicken salad, which mixes store-bought roasted chicken with blue cheese, grapes, celery and sunflower seeds. She likes eating it wrapped in Bibb lettuce leaves.
The beauty of this recipe is that it takes advantage of an array of terrific prefab ingredients, from prepeeled garlic and precut butternut squash to rotisserie chicken and frozen sofrito (the Spanish green-pepper-and-onion seasoning paste). Poaching the prepeeled garlic cloves in milk helps bring out an extraordinary depth of flavor.
Marie Hejl made these easy enchiladas with a Spanish-speaking friend on a bilingual episode of her show, and she occasionally prepares them with her dad, Jim Hejl. Following her Mexican grandmother’s recipe, Marie first dips the tortillas in a fresh tomatillo sauce, then fries them in oil. Here, to avoid excessive spattering, the tortillas are first fried in oil and then coated with the tomatillo sauce.