Tag Archives: Rotisserie Chicken

Rotisserie Chicken + Black Bean Salad = Tacos

Whoever invented the rotisserie chicken is a genius, along with the roasters that are now in most grocery stores; these succulent whole chickens provide us with instant dinner, and leftovers for another meal. Whether you want to whip up a delicious dinner to enjoy while watching the NCAA Basketball tournaments or just make a satisfying homemade meal, the moist rotisserie chicken allows for quick, easy and tasty weeknight meals. Here the shredded chicken has been put to good use in Chicken Tacos with Black Bean Salad, Red Cabbage & Chipotle Lime Sauce. My infamous Black Bean Salad has been featured on Foodie for Two before, where it was paired with seared ono, and today the ingredients are slightly modified to give the taco a makeover with light yet hearty flavors.  It works fabulously in soft tacos with some warm corn tortillas, shredded chicken, thinly sliced red cabbage, sliced jalapeño and finished with a chipotle lime sauce. The sauce is rich and creamy and brings all the other flavors together with just enough earthy spice from the chipotle, and brightness from the lime.

The versatile sauce is made with some mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest and juice and dried chipotle pepper powder – my secret ingredient.  Chipotle peppers are just fully-ripened, dried jalapeños and available in either whole dried peppers (seeds, stems and all) or dried pepper powder.  I find the powder in the spice aisle of my grocery store (or from Savory Spice) and the whole peppers in the Mexican food aisle.  The spiciness from the jalapeño is concentrated and it has a wonderful earthy, smokiness that adds a surprising depth of flavor to dishes or sauces.

To make dinners super easy, I like to remove all the meat (yes, the dark meat too) from the bird when I get it home and then store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator.  This time I selected the colossal bird, which was only a dollar more than the regular size, and it yielded about 5 cups of shredded chicken – plenty for this meal.  If you aren’t going to use the chicken within the week, just bag it up in one cup measurements and freeze for later use. How could delicious homemade dinners be any easier?  This is also a great recipe for a small crowd: double or triple the amounts (depending on the number if people) and set everything out buffet style. Enjoy!

Eat well and share the love!

Chicken Tacos with Black Bean Salad, Red Cabbage & Chipotle Lime Sauce (Print Recipe)
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies

Ingredients:
Black Bean Salad
1 can (15 oz. – no salt) black beans, drained and rinsed well
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely diced bell peppers (about 3 baby sweet
peppers, or ¼ of a red, yellow or orange bell pepper)
1 cup baby spinach, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon grated lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons finely diced Poblano pepper (about ½ of a small Poblano)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon finely minced garlic clove (about ½ of a small clove)
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
Chipotle Lime Sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/8 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
Pinch of kosher salt and ground pepper
Tacos
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
3 to 4 corn tortillas, warmed
½ cup of very thinly sliced red cabbage
9 to 12 slices (thinly sliced ) jalapeño for garnish
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions:
Black Bean Salad: Add the black beans, red onion, bell pepper, spinach, lime zest and juice, cilantro, Poblano pepper, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to a medium bowl and gently stir together with a spoon so the beans don’t break up. Let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors develop; can be made up to one day ahead – the beans will break down a bit from the lime juice but the flavors won’t be affected. Store leftover salad covered in the refrigerator, makes about 2 cups.

Chipotle Lime Sauce: Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well.  Let sauce sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to develop. Can be made up to 2 days ahead; store covered in the refrigerator, makes about 1/3 cup.

Assemble: For the rotisserie chicken, remove all of the meat off the bone and reserve 1 cup for the tacos. Store the remaining chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or bag the shredded chicken in 1 cup servings and freeze for later use.

Heat the oven, or toaster oven, to 350º and wrap the corn tortillas in foil.  Let them heat in oven for about 5 minutes.

Thinly slice the red cabbage and jalapeño slices and gather all of the ingredients on the cutting board to start assembling the tacos.  

When the corn tortillas are warm, fill each of them with about ¼ cup of the black bean salad, 1/8 cup of shredded red cabbage, ¼ cup shredded chicken, a few small dollops of chipotle lime sauce, garnish with the sliced jalapeño and cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

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The Tulip Fence:  Last September I planted over 100 tulip bulbs in planters and in the backyard (my first time ever), and they are starting to come up. Not surprisingly, I found a mule deer munching on the tender shoots this weekend and chased her away; David put up a quick fence for protection and it worked!  Thanks, honey!
Here you can see she has returned and is trying to figure out how to get to them.  No tulips for you, my deer!

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Easy No-Cook Dinner: Chicken Tostadas

It has been so hot up here lately and I haven’t had the energy for much creative action in the kitchen.  This time of year I am all about delicious meals that require minimal preparation and little to no cooking.  Easy to pull together, these chicken tostadas are just the ticket for a hot evening.  The ingredients get simplified by using a rotisserie chicken and tostada shells from my local grocery store.  The prep time was saved for the salsa fresca, which takes minutes to make and adds a bright, fresh flavor (recipe follows).  Yes, you can use your favorite jarred salsa if you don’t have the time or energy.  Layered with sour cream, lettuce, salsa fresca, sliced jalapeños and avocado, the chicken tostadas are a satisfying, light meal.   For a heartier dinner we’ll add some black refried beans to the bottom layer.

I like using a rotisserie chicken because it’s a tasty shortcut and gives me at least two meals.  The meat is always tender, has great flavor and provides me with instant chicken.  To save yourself time later (and room in the fridge), take all the meat off the bird. You’re already messy so why not do it all at once – don some kitchen gloves if you like and use the bag to discard the bones, skin and such.  When done, everything stays in the bag and clean up is a breeze.  Be sure to get the thigh, leg and back meat too.  One bird should yield about 4 cups of shredded meat.  Save the extra meat for another meal – in refrigerator for three to four days, or freeze up to a month.  

Here is another great timesaver that I love:  pre-made tostada shells.  Not just for tostadas, they are perfect for a quick nosh; I add some grated sharp cheddar cheese on top, melt in the toaster oven and season with salt and pepper.  If I’m up for it I’ll add some queso fresco cheese and fresh cilantro, or maybe just some capers and cracked pepper.  With a sliced apple on the side, I am good to go for a few hours.  If you have fresh corn tortillas they can be baked or toasted until crispy. 

There are endless options to building a tostada – use your imagination (and leftovers) to create other tasty combinations.  Add a cold beer, and be sure to toast the foodie next to you (the four-legged ones count too).

Eat well and share the love!

Chicken Tostadas with Salsa Fresca
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies

Ingredients:
Salsa Fresca
1 large good tomato or 3 medium Campari tomatoes on-the-vine, chopped
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved and quartered or chopped
2 tablespoons minced onions
1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeño
1 yellow or orange mini sweet pepper, diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon fresh lime juice
Tostadas
3 to 4 pre-made tostada shells
1 to 2 tablespoons sour cream
2 cups thinly sliced bibb lettuce (about half of a small head)
4 to 5 tablespoons salsa fresca
1 ½ to 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat
1 jalapeño, sliced into thin rounds
6 to 8 slices of avocado

5 to 6 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco cheese
Garnish
Cilantro
Fresh cracked pepper
Lime wedges

Directions:
Salsa Fresca
Chop up the vegetables and herbs.  Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl and stir well. 

Assemble
Rotisserie chicken: remove all the meat from the carcass and shred meat into a medium bowl.
Gather the sour cream and tostada shells, cut the lettuce into thin ribbons, slice the jalapeño rounds and crumble the cheese.

Spread a thin layer of sour cream on the tostada shell, then some lettuce, some salsa fresca, ½ cup of chicken, jalapeno slices, a little more salsa fresca then the avocado slices, crumbled cheese, and cilantro.  Add a small dollop of sour cream on top, a jalapeno slice and  some fresh cracked pepper.  Serve with lime wedges.

  • Dealing with a whole rotisserie chicken: To save yourself time later (and room in the fridge), take all the meat off the bird. You’re already messy so why not do it all at once – don some kitchen gloves if you like and use the bag to discard the bones, skin and such.  When done, everything stays in the bag and clean up is a cinch.  Be sure to get the thigh, leg and back meat too.  One bird should yield about 4 cups shredded meat.
  • Only have corn tortillas on hand?  Heat oven to 375 degrees F; bake in a single layer on a sheet pan in 375 degree oven for 5 – 7 minutes until golden and crispy.  Or toast in toaster oven on low (lay directly on rack) until golden and crispy.
  • If you can find them, cherub tomatoes have the best flavor
  • Substitute your favorite jarred salsa for salsa fresca