Enjoy Rotisserie Chicken Year-Round

January 21, 2014 Classic Cooking

One meat can revolutionize the family dinner. It's a bold statement — but I whole-heartedly believe it to be true. All you need is one go-to dinner design to re-energize your table and everyone who gathers at it.

For me, that meat is... (Drumroll, please...) rotisserie chicken! It's readily available, precooked from your local grocery store and extremely versatile. Rotisserie chickens are also consistently affordable and a simple starting point for a hearty meal any night of the week.

Rotisserie chickens are a simple starting point for a hearty meal any night of the week.

The Versatility of a Rotisserie Chicken As the head cook in our family kitchen, I am most inspired by the blank canvas that is the whole chicken. As the mom at our family dinner table, I am delighted by the way my whole crew gobbles it up with no argument at all. It's available in a range of flavors that work well during all four seasons, and it plays well as an ingredient in a number of recipes. My kids look forward to tasting every incarnation and also enjoy leftovers the next day.

So without further ado, here is a main dish that makes everybody hungry for dinner, as well as tips for making it relevant year round.

Spring Chicken & Salad Lemon-pepper chicken brings a bright flavor to the table that's perfect for spring. For a side dish, serve up a fresh-tasting salad of black beans and chopped peppers. It's light and colorful, plus it has a hint of lime juice to complement the lemony chicken.

Summer Burrito Bar Since the chicken is precooked, I have the core of the meal ready. Just before supper, I hand-shred meat from a plain rotisserie chicken and use it to make a filling for burritos. At the table, we have a full spread of condiments — diced onions, sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese.

Fall Barbecue When the leaves start to change, and the air starts to turn crisp, nothing sounds better than barbecue. Now is the time of year that I seek out rotisserie chicken flavored with sweet, savory barbecue sauce and serve it up alongside corn on the cob and a spicy bean side dish.

Winter Comfort Food When winter cold sets in, and your family craves comfort food, rotisserie chicken always fits the bill. Look for a chicken flavored with rosemary, garlic or both. Serve it with a warm, delicious mix of stewed tomatoes, blackeye peas and bacon.

I never met a chicken my family didn't love. Easy to find and so effortlessly tailored to the season, rotisserie chicken is a reason in itself for us to gather. It truly is the ultimate suppertime meat.