It’s so true what dear, sweet Dolly Parton sang about in her song 9 to 5; we “tumble out of bed, stumble to the kitchen” and from then on out, our day is a blur. And to be honest when I come home from work some days, the last thing I want to do is cook; so I take a few shortcuts.
Now, don’t get me wrong; my shortcuts are nothing like the ones on Sandra Lee’s show Semi-Homemade. I think her recipes are just plain weird and her tablescapes look like a really bad Cirque du Soleil show. I mean, can you really make that many recipes with canned Hormel Chili?! That being said, however, we cannot all be like Martha Stewart and grow our own food, raise our own chickens and keep our own bees. With our hectic schedules we must take some shortcuts to make a great meal quickly, especially during the work week.
One of the shortcuts I use is a rotisserie chicken from the local mega mart. Just be sure to look for the one that is plump with even brown color. If it looks like the turkey from the movie Christmas Vacation, leave it be. Here are few quick meal ideas that I use when I am in a pinch
- Chicken Cobb Salad – add chopped rotisserie chicken to mixed salad greens with avocado, scallions, cheddar cheese, bacon (use the pre-cooked kind) and dress with your favorite ranch dressing.
- Farfalle Pasta in Vodka Cream Sauce with Chicken and Spinach – warm store bought vodka cream sauce (try Mario Batoli’s – fantastic!) and add a handful of baby spinach to wilt. Pour over cooked farfalle pasta and top with chopped rotisserie chicken.
- Greek Chicken Salad – add chopped rotisserie chicken to mixed salad greens with cucumber, cubed feta, kalamata olives, scallions and dress with homemade vinaigrette.
All Dressed Up…
I know homemade vinaigrette sounds laborious. Actually, it is quite the opposite. I use a version of Ina Garten’s vinaigrette recipe, because it is made with staple ingredients and is EASY. Try it! You’ll forgo the bottle stuff next time.
Basic Vinaigrette (dresses a salad for four)
2 tablespoons vinegar (try white Balsamic or Champagne vinegar)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
In a large bowl (big enough to hold the salad greens) add the vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard. Whisk to combine. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add salad greens and toss.
So don’t worry – you can make a great meal, fast. Now go get yourself another “cup of ambition” and get back to work! 😉