I like to pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store about once a week or so. Rotisserie chickens are quick and convenient, and they usually leave us with some leftovers for the lunch the next day. We usually end up picking one up earlier in the day when we’re out running errands, so I just stick it in the fridge and re-heat it when I’m ready to get the rest of dinner together. Our whole family always loves these chickens and Kennedy, our 11 year old, almost always asks for seconds, which is pretty exciting because I always feel like she doesn’t eat quite enough protein for her busy soccer-filled life.
Over the next year, starting right now, I’ll be working with Gay Lea Foods for their #BornOnTheFarm campaign and I thought this would be the perfect kick-off project for this month’s recipe challenge. At this time of year, I start to really want to focus more on putting cozy family-style meals on the table and I know a lot of other moms do too, and this is one super easy trick that I use to make those family meals happen even on busy days where we’re leaving for soccer practice again almost as soon as we get home! Keep an eye out for more fun and convenient ideas like this using Gay Lea products every month over the next year. Since I always have Gay Lea butter, or whipped cream, or sour cream in the house anyway, I thought this year-long campaign would be a great chance for me to challenge myself and share some fun food ideas with you. 🙂
The other day, it was the middle of the afternoon and we didn’t have any plans for dinner yet, which almost never happens. Chris was going to run to the grocery store and grab us a few things anyway while he was out picking up the kids from school so I asked him to grab a chicken. It was just one of those busy days and I figured, what the heck, we could just eat the chicken right out of the package, straight from the store like normal people. I’d put together a quick salad to go with it and that would be dinner. Well, of course, that didn’t work out quite so well. Everyone wondered what was up with chicken? Why did it taste so weird? What could possibly be different about this particular chicken when we eat rotisserie chicken like this all the time?
Well, I’ll tell you what!
The truth is, that I almost always doctor these store-bought chickens up a little bit when I reheat them, and I guess that just makes all the difference! If you’ve been less than impressed with store-bought rotisserie chickens in the past, try these few tricks out to make them taste more like homemade!
Here’s what I do!
Start with a chicken!
I transfer the chicken out of the plastic packaging and into a casserole or glass baking dish, then I preheat the oven to about 400 degrees.
I try to give the chicken more of a fresh, real-food kind of flavor, rather than an overly-salty greasy fast-food kind of flavor by using fresh, real ingredients to boost flavor, rather than pre-made seasoning mixes, since this chicken is already technically mostly fully seasoned and cooked.
Since the name of this project is #BornOnTheFarm, I thought it would be appropriate to head out to the garden to grab some fresh herbs for this. We’re not quite a farm, but we are farm-adjacent, so that has to count for something. 🙂
I like to first quickly add a few things into the cavity of the chicken as part of this chicken re-flavoring process. Ideally, if I have some lemons on hand, I’ll slice a lemon up and stuff it in there, along with a couple of cloves of garlic and a few sprigs of rosemary. It’s amazing what a difference this makes, even if you’re just reheating the chicken for a few minutes in the oven! The great thing is that if you’re really in a pinch, you can even just drizzle a bit of lemon juice, and then sprinkle in some garlic powder and dried rosemary. It still makes a big difference!
The last thing I like to do, and this really changes everything, is take a few tablespoons of Gay Lea salted butter and rub them over the entire outside of the chicken. This really crisps the skin up nicely and gives the chicken a nice dark color that makes it really look expertly-done. I’ll often sprinkle a bit of dried rosemary over the butter as well, or parsley, or even just some plain ol’ poultry seasoning. Whatever feels right at the moment. 🙂
Then I bake/reheat my chicken in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes while I prepare the rest of the meal and set the table.
Doing these few things before reheating only takes 5 minutes or so and they will make any sad-looking little chicken so flavorful and perfect for whether you’re really in rush to get some food on the table, or whether you just want an easy way to put together that perfect family meal.
Definitely try these tricks out next time you pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store!
I created this blog post as a paid ambassador with Gay Lea Foods and PTPA. All opinions, advice, and ideas are 100% my own as always!
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.