Friday, May 29, 2009

Take Out Roast Chicken Made Good

All right, all right, I'll admit it...sometimes I just don't feel like cooking and sometimes I just don't feel like going out either. And these days the problem is magnified; Significant Eater is taking some night classes and I really don't like cooking just for myself - I enjoy cooking for others, because it 's fun for me to make others happy with my cooking. As it should be for you...otherwise, well, you really shouldn't be doing it, but that's another story.

So every once in a while, when I'm in the no cooking, no going out mode, I'll stop at the local deli, even though I always vow not to stop at the local deli because it really isn't that good. Actually, the local deli sucks. It's glatt kosher, and why is it that glatt kosher places generally suck? They don't have to; they just do. Sigh. However, this place does have a roast chicken special, where for $11, you get a whole roasted chicken and a pound of a side, which can be okay if you stick to the cole slaw or barley or something along those lines. The chicken doesn't look half bad, either...

The biggest problem with the chicken is that it's usually cooked to shit. Now, if you get there around lunchtime, you can get them to pull something off the rotisserie while it actually still has some juice in it, otherwise it tastes like its been through the deflavorizer. If you get one of those, just do what I did the other day, and that's make a big batch of chicken salad. I got to make Significant Eater a nice sandwich and packed it for her to take to school. And guess what? It made both of us happy, which is the point of cooking!

Chicken Salad

1 lb. roasted/poached chicken - diced or shredded if you really have time
1/4 cup diced sweet onion or a few sliced scallions to taste
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced red pepper, pimento or 2 hot cherry peppers, seeded and minced
2 T capers, minced
2 T minced parsely
2 tsp minced thyme
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 T red or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup mayo
2 T olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix it all up well. Taste it - adjust seasonings, add more vinegar, mayo, whatever to taste.

You can make your chicken salad 100 different ways...sometimes I lean more Italian, and use only olive oil, no mayo. Sometimes I add a tablespoon or two of Dijon mustard. You can substitute strained yogurt for the mayo. It can be Cambodian, Phillipino, Vietnamese, Chinese, and on and on. You can add sunflower seeds (god no). Pretend you're a Californian and add grapes. Whatever, the recipe above is a good all-around starter to play really can't go wrong.


  1. I like the Latin style roast chicken at Fairway...mmmm..... and I like it served on top of a green salad so all the juices run together....mmmm.....getting hungry and we just ate lunch!

  2. Oh yeah, the chicken juices can make for a nice salad dressing.

  3. Hey, saw the grapes for chicken salad, that's my favorite addition

  4. Would you call what you bought in the deli a roast chicken or a barbecued chicken, or is there really a difference at all?

  5. @ Anonymous - I'd call that a roast chicken. In my opinion, a barbecued chicken needs to be...barbecued?