Three quick and delicious dinners made with a rotisserie chicken

A Rotisserie chicken provides the perfect pairing for dining on a college budget

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At only around $5, rotisserie chickens can provide the foundation for many meals at a low price. 

Ally Donberger | Cavalier Daily

The most exciting part about starting second year was definitely the access to my very own kitchen. After living in a dorm with a kitchen leaving much to be desired, the prospect of freshly cooked meals every evening seemed almost too good to be true. However, once classes started and the homework began to pile up, I realized how important quick and easy meals are. 

Harris Teeter is my go-to choice of grocery store for quality ingredients at reasonable prices. An added bonus is the student discount they provide for students at the University. My roommate and I discovered the power of the rotisserie chicken on our first trip shopping. At only around $5, this provided the foundation for many meals at such a low price. The chicken can easily be added to a wide range of dishes, using items typically kept in the pantry.

Chicken and cheese quesadillas 

One great meal — and my personal favorite — to use the rotisserie chicken for is chicken and cheese quesadillas. The other ingredients necessary for this dish are tortillas, cheese and chili powder. I recommend purchasing burrito-size tortillas for easier flipping and using Mexican cheese that is thickly shredded for a more gooey and melty inside. 

In order to make the quesadilla, place a medium-sized frying pan on the stove and begin heating it on medium-high heat. Place one tortilla on the pan. First, layer the shredded Mexican cheese on one half of the tortilla. Next, place pieces of the rotisserie chicken that have been shredded rotisserie chicken onto the cheese. Sprinkle on the chicken with a dash of chili powder to taste, and add more cheese until the chicken has been fully coated. Fold the remaining half of the tortilla over to cover the cheese.

Heat the quesadilla until the bottom layer of cheese has been melted. Once melted, carefully flip the quesadilla over. Continue cooking until the cheese is completely melted and the inside is fully heated. Remove from heat and slice into pieces using a sharp knife or pizza cutter. I recommend serving the quesadilla with salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

Pita pizza

Another great option for using the rotisserie chicken is a pita pizza. The ingredients necessary for this meal besides chicken are pita rounds, tomato sauce and shredded cheese. Optional additions include pesto, fresh tomatoes and pepperoni. I prefer using tomato sauce because I typically have a jar on hand, but pesto adds a unique and more refined flavor.

First, set the oven on the low broil setting. Next, place a pita round on a baking sheet. Cover the pita with a layer of tomato sauce or pesto. Next, sprinkle shredded cheese until the sauce is almost completely covered. I recommend mozzarella cheese, but cheddar cheese is also a good option. Then, add the desired amount of shredded chicken from the rotisserie chicken on top of the cheese. Add any additional ingredients before placing the baking sheet in the oven. 

Carefully observe the pita pizza in the oven because the broiler can sometimes cook faster depending on the oven. Make sure to leave it in until the cheese is completely melted and slightly browned, usually around five minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and slice the pita pizza using a pizza cutter. The pizza is pretty filling so I usually eat this without a side dish.

Chicken and pasta

A third meal to use the rotisserie chicken is as a topping on pasta. All you’ll need is are pasta and tomato or alfredo sauce. My favorite type of pasta to use is Barilla Rotini because the spirals capture the sauce best. Also, I use Victoria Tomato Basil Sauce, but any tomato sauce will offer delicious results.

First, boil a pot of water on the stove for the pasta. In a separate pot, place the desired choice of sauce on low heat and bring to a simmer. Once the water is boiling, pour in the pasta and cook according the boxes instructions. Add shredded pieces of the rotisserie chicken to the simmering sauce to ensure everything is heated all the way through. 

Once the pasta has finished cooking, pour into a strainer to remove all the excess water. Place the pasta into serving bowls and add the desired amount of sauce. I recommend pairing this dish with broccoli.

There are so many meals that can be made using a rotisserie chicken. Half the cooking is done for you since the chicken is already ready to go and relatively little mess is involved. It can basically be added to any of your favorite dishes. Other ideas are salads, wraps, chicken salad and pulled barbeque chicken. 

Ally Donberger is a Food Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at life@cavalierdaily.com. 

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