One Woman, One Rotisserie Chicken, and Five Days: A Menu Plan

Cooking for One

The whole rotisserie chicken found in many supermarkets and delis is ubiquitous and commonplace, but I'm still a fan. I think it's a delicious and economical way to bring protein to my table. And when I know I'll be cooking for myself over a period of several days, I can make that bird last down to the last wing bone! Read on for my five day rotisserie chicken menu plan.

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Buying a Rotisserie Chicken

A rotisserie chicken is simply a whole chicken that's cooked on a turning spit. (See photo above.) The most important thing is to find the best rotisserie chicken possible. You want a moist, flavorful bird with delicious crispy skin. (My mouth is watering even as I write this!) Some grocery stores do a great job and some do not. Here in the Bay Area, our local Whole Foods make a great Lemon Chicken. We also have smaller mom-and-pop operations like RoliRoti (a portable rotisserie that shows up at farmers' markets) or the venerable Poulet in Berkeley.

Personally, I go for a sustainably-raised chicken whenever possible. It may cost a few extra dollars, but when I'm squeezing out every morsel of meat and boiling up the bones for stock, I want a well-raised chicken that's free of extra hormones and chemicals.

And of course this whole plan can be done with a raw chicken that you roast yourself and in some ways that's the best option. But if time or lack of skills or even a broken oven keep you from making your own, there's nothing wrong with swinging by the deli and picking up a delicious rotisserie bird.

5-Day Rotisserie Chicken Menu Plan

Day 1: Chicken and Roast Vegetables Bring it home. The first night, carve off the one breast and slice it into pieces. Serve it with some vegetables and a grain or over pasta or even toss it into a salad. → Recipes: How To Roast a Chicken, 20 Recipes for Roasted Vegetables

Day 2: Tacos or Burritos
Shred the legs and thigh meat for tacos or burritos (can be frozen if not using right away.)
Recipe and Tip: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, How To Make Your Own Frozen Wraps or Burritos

Day 3: Chicken Salad
Make chicken salad from the other breast.
Recipes: Dill and Yogurt Chicken Salad, Chicken and Wild Rice Salad

Day 4: Chicken Soup
Make stock from the leftover bones and have soup for supper, using some of the leftover thigh meat.
Recipes: How To Make Homemade Chicken Stock, Chicken Soup with Herb Dumplings

Day 5: Risotto
Use the rest of the stock as the liquid to flavor a risotto.
Recipe: How To Make a Great Risotto

What are your favorite ways to make your way through a rotisserie chicken?

Related: The Semi-Secret Glories of Rotisserie Chicken

(Image: Will DIckey for MyRecipes and Faith Durand)