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Something to Cluck About

In our May/June 2014 issue (available on newsstands now), we share dozens of ways to use that humble grocery store standby, the deli-roasted rotisserie chicken. In producing the story, I ate every one of the 30 recipes at least twice—once when we tried them in our test kitchen and again when we took photos for the magazine and website. Here’s our food stylist Charlie primping a pile of sandwiches for a dramatic stacked shot, with a little help from some camera gear to hold it all together.

After so much nurturing and care, I wish I could say I love all my little recipe children equally, but of course, I did form favorites. Here are the recipes I can’t wait to try at home—and I think you should, too!

Coconut Chicken Noodle Bowl: I thought this dish was going to be more like a soup, but our recipe developer envisioned something drier, more like pad thai—and I’m so glad she did.  It’s a fresh and flavorful skillet supper, and a handful of readily accessible ingredients (coconut milk, fresh basil, fish sauce, rice noodles) give authentic restaurant-style texture and flavor.

Spicy Chicken-Peanut Thai Pizza: In high school, I always ordered Thai peanut pizza at Trio, a special-occasion restaurant near my parents’ house in Cincinnati. I knew I wanted a similar pizza in our story. But our Midwest Living twist is that we left the vegetables off until after baking, so the sweet-and-spicy pizza contrasts with crisp carrot, cilantro, scallion and snow peas. A little slice of heaven right there.

Chipotle Chicken and Cheddar Panini: The southwestern flavor in this gooey, cheesy sandwich comes from chipotle-flavor mayonnaise. (Look for the Kraft version at large supermarkets.) I know, I know… another condiment for my fridge door? But this is one extra bottle I won’t mind having around. Besides adding big flavor to this toasted sandwich, it will taste great in deviled eggs or egg or potato salad.

Orange Chicken Coleslaw Salad: This is an admittedly strange recipe, but so good and crazy-easy. A simple soy and marmalade dressing coats rotisserie chicken, shredded cabbage and crunchy Ramen noodles. That mixture gets piled on a bed of baby spinach, then topped with scallions and sliced almonds. You’ll be done in minutes.

Lemon-Avocado Chicken Salad: So much to love here! Two tablespoons of lemon juice add tang, chopped avocado lends rich creaminess, and shredded Parm works in a subtle, salty note. I’d love to brown-bag this one for work, along with some whole-wheat crackers and fruit.

Hmmm… I’m feeling strangely hungry now. Is it lunchtime yet? Of course, I’m most interested to hear which chicken recipes you try and like best. Tell us in the comments below, or shoot us a note at blog@midwestliving.com.

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