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5 Ways to gourmet your store-bought rotisserie chicken

Sarah's love of food led her down what she calls "the culinary rabbit hole," leaving her management job to first apprentice on an organic vegetable farm and then to write about and photograph food professionally. Her agricultural backgro...

These simple additions make a rotisserie chicken something special

Grocery store rotisserie chickens are my fast food of choice. They're ready-to-eat, usually seasoned well, always juicy, economical and healthy. When I pick one up, I'm not looking to do anything fancy with it — that was the point of getting a cooked chicken to begin with — but I have a few tricks up my sleeve to use alone or in combination with each other for elevating this already tasty meal.

1. Serve it with a quick sauce

Chances are, your bird doesn't come with a sauce, but if you're lucky enough to live near a Peruvian chicken joint you know the beauty that is the green sauce. It's fresh, super spicy, and balanced with a little acidity and creaminess. I set out to recreate the green sauce from our favorite chicken place and, after a side-by-side tasting, came up for a very similar product. Just whir together in a blender or food processor until mostly smooth but a little texture remains:

  • 2 jalapeños, seeds and veins removed
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1/4 lime, juiced

These simple additions make a rotisserie chicken something special

2. Add a big, green salad

I lean toward a no-cook side dish when I'm opting for a quick meal, and most often this means my five-ingredient (including the dressing!) salad. Just toss together baby greens, thinly sliced red onion and fruit (oranges are wonderful, but often this time of year we use in-season apples) tossed with a vinaigrette of one part balsamic vinegar to two parts extra virgin olive oil.

These simple additions make a rotisserie chicken something special

3. Crisp up the skin

If rotisserie chickens from the store have one drawback, it's the skin, which never makes it home without losing its texture. Since you're cutting up the bird anyway, it only takes five minutes and one dirty pan to crisp up the skin. Just heat up oil in a large skillet over high heat, and once the oil is hot, place your chicken pieces skin-side down for a couple minutes until deeply browned and crisp.

These simple additions make a rotisserie chicken something special

4. Garnish with fresh herbs

One of the simplest and fastest ways to make a rotisserie chicken your own is to add fresh herbs just before serving. If you choose tender herbs like chives or dill, just sprinkle them over each plate, and if you use something hardier like rosemary or thyme, you can add them to the skillet as you crisp up the skin.

These simple additions make a rotisserie chicken something special

5. Add a squeeze of citrus

Last but not at all least, a hit of acidity from lemon or lime brightens a store-bought chicken. You can include lemon wedges on the table or squeeze the juice over the chicken before serving to keep everyone intrigued about the source of brightness.

This post was sponsored by Hannaford. Join them in the fight against hunger this holiday season with Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger.

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