So many recipes call for cooked chicken. But how does one procure cooked chicken? I'm glad you asked!
There are multiple levels of effort and time to make cooked chicken happen. And since chicken is the most-eaten protein in the USA, let's break our lives down in terms of chicken.
- Why roast a chicken? Because it's delicious! It does take time but it's simple. Here's a fantastic recipe: Herb & Lemon Roasted Chicken
Pan-fried, poached or grilled chicken
- If you have boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, you can cook them up fairly quickly either whole or cubed by:
- sautéing in a pan with a little oil and Seasoned Salt; or
- tossing in boiling water with chopped carrot, celery, onion and some salt and pepper; or
- tossing whole pieces on the grill.
- Here's a lovely pan-fried recipe: Garlic & Herb Pan-Fried Chicken with Gravy
- Here's a basic and flavorful recipe that includes four cooking options: Malt Vinegar Chicken
- You can buy cooked, boneless chicken chunks in little cans, just like tuna. If you haven't eaten in three days and you need some protein lest you tip over from hunger, canned chicken might be your best option. That is IF you are on a deserted island and/or more than 100 miles from the nearest store, restaurant or your mom. Canned chicken can also suffice if you are in the midst of a massive chicken emergency and you simply must have cooked chicken in 1 minute or less. In all other cases … I recommend one of the other options.
- Most grocery stores carry hot and ready-to-go rotisserie chickens for a reasonable price. They taste pretty good and they are almost always juicy and flavorful. You can chop them up for most any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.
- If you have never chopped up a rotisserie chicken before, check out the video below. It gives a great overview of the process.
Whenever I'm making chicken – regardless of the cooking method – I almost always make extra. Then I chop it and freeze it in two-cup packs so that I always have chopped, cooked chicken in my freezer. It's so handy for quick, weeknight meals!
So give it a try this weekend. Get your freezer stocked; when weeknights get crazy you'll be ready!
Tips & Hints
- Always chop up your rotisserie chicken while it's still warm. Cold from the fridge is much more difficult to work with, and you wont' get as much chicken off the bones.
- Save the skin and bones and make your own broth! It's a great weekend project. It doesn't take that long and it tastes so much better than canned broth.
- If you're going to chop up a chicken you may as well do two! It doesn't take that much longer and you can freeze the second for another meal.