Yes, I do mean exactly what you think I mean: one that I tote home from my local Harris Teeter supermarket, not one that I’ve cooked at home. On Sundays, the rotisserie chickens are on special–$4.99. I can’t buy a whole chicken for that price so I’ve learned the times when the freshly roasted ones come out, and I go pick up one that hasn’t been sitting on the heated carousel for hours. That’s one thing to check before you buy. I like to lurk while they are actually being put out.
Even getting one that is freshly packed still has its problems–chickens have both dark and white meat. Unfortunately, the two don’t cook the same, but they are both on the same bird. The first serving of breast meat off that bird is okay–not really my favorite. The second is not so okay if you don’t particularly like white meat. But such a bargain!
I usually don’t buy whole chickens. I buy leg quarters. Occasionally when I’m really busy and don’t want to cook I succumb to the lure of the whole rotisserie chicken. My quandary is always how to make use of the second serving of white meat. Reheated it’s dry and tastes reheated. Made into soup, it is still dry and even less flavorful that it was on the fresh bird.
Inspiration struck the other evening when I was making mujadara in the Instant Pot. When I pulled the bowl out it was steaming hot. I was planning it as a side to the chicken. Instead, I sliced the breast into bite-size pieces and stirred it into the mujadara. That was enough to warm the chicken but not enough heat to overcook it. That turned out to be the best second serving of white meat that I’ve had in a long time.
I’m sure I can do that same thing with other dishes–or with soup–just add right before eating instead of cooking it more.