One thing I love about living in Frankfurt is the plethora of farmers’ markets. Several days a week, there’s a farmers’ market a short walk or a few subway stops from where we live.
We do most of our food shopping at the grocery store, but sometimes it’s fun to browse among the vendors’ stalls with a cup of coffee and a tasty kreppel, picking up some produce or the occasional bouquet of flowers or holiday centerpiece.
Or — as I do almost every Tuesday from the chicken guy at our neighborhood farmers’ market — pick up a delicious rotisserie chicken for dinner.
Rotisserie chicken is a mainstay of my family’s weekly meals. I know I’m not the first home cook to use rotisserie chicken meat as an easy recipe hack. But I didn’t truly appreciate the value of this cooking shortcut until I started working again.
Piopio attends a combination of preschool and daycare from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. I work from home, so I have some flexibility for meal prep and such during those hours, but cooking is something I can more easily do with Piopio around in the afternoon than, say, trying to work at my computer, so I’m not usually in the kitchen until 4:30 or so. I’ll often have conference calls/virtual meetings in the late afternoon as well, or if it’s nice outside (a rare day in winter), I’ll take Piopio to the playground for a bit.
Our local supermarket has rotisserie chicken available everyday — at a lower price compared to the chicken guy (although not as low as Costco’s $4.99 steal) — but it’s not as good.
Since our arrival in August, the chicken guy has raised his prices from 7.40€ to 8.00€ (that’s $8.05 to $8.71 — insane compared to Costco!) per chicken. But I’m still a loyal customer.
In a pinch — like when the chicken guy disappointingly isn’t at the market for whatever reason, as happened last week — I’ll buy one from the grocery store. Or, if I happen to have leftover baked chicken breasts on hand, I’ll use those instead.
But I create our weekly meal plans in advance, and Tuesday’s dinner (and sometimes, lunches later in the week, if I’m buying two chickens) are planned around the chicken guy.
What do I make? The most common meal — other than just having the rotisserie chicken as is, with a side or two — is something my friend Meagan shared: Quinoa, brown rice & chicken bowl.
Quinoa, Brown Rice & Chicken Bowl
Meat from one rotisserie chicken
Halved cherry tomatoes
Cooked baby spinach
Olive oil & balsamic vinegar
Prepare quinoa & brown rice mix according to package directions (90 seconds in the microwave — so easy!)
Mix everything together
Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (optional)
I love this recipe because 1) it’s super easy; 2) it tastes good; and 3) it’s a good way to get Piopio to eat green veggies. He’s not a huge fan — he’ll sometimes eat steamed green beans, oven-roasted broccoli, or raw cucumbers, but usually he only eats “sweet’ veggies (carrots, tomatoes — I know, technically a fruit, or bell peppers) unless they’re mixed in something like a curry or stir fry. You could substitute other veggies for spinach, or throw in some additional ones if you’d like.
Sometimes I’ll make chicken salad for lunches later in the week. My recipe is simple: rotisserie chicken meat, chopped walnuts, halved green grapes (or golden raisins), and mayo. I’ve done greek yogurt before too — a lighter/healthier option.
Lately I’ve been experimenting with different blog and Pinterest recipes using rotisserie chicken. Most of have been OK — nothing has really wowed me or truly fallen flat. Everything I would make again, but not necessarily include in a very regular rotation.
I’m always looking for new ideas! Do you have any good rotisserie chicken recipes to share?