Working 9 to 5

You know Dolly loves her some Publix Rotisserie Chicken!

You know Dolly loves her some Publix Rotisserie Chicken!

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! 😉


11 Responses to “Working 9 to 5”

  1. josh Says:

    Very nice! love the shortcuts. But if i come over and catch you piping cool whip out of ziploc bag, we’re staging an intervention! 😉

    • Matthew Says:

      You know if you cut the tip of the bag a little jagged – it acts as a star tip. WAIT! I’m suppose to be stopping you. First thing – you use cool whip?! The shame. 😉

  2. jamie Says:

    Now don’t be knocking Sandra. Although, I’m not sure I use Hormel for cooking anything other than chili dogs, I can appreciate the fact that she is not afraid of the pre-dinner cocktail, one to go along with dinner, and one with a dessert twist.

    • Matthew Says:

      You are right; she has one thing going for her – there is a cocktail with every meal. That’s it. All I am saying – if you are taking up for her, the next time I come over there better be a table scape. 😉

  3. SUSU Says:


  4. David Says:

    Do I have to have my ID to purchase the Vodka Cream Sauce? If not… can I drink it and catch a buzz?

    • Matthew Says:

      Good thing: You don’t need an ID to buy this sauce. Bad thing: if you think you can get a “buzz” from vodka cream sauce – you need Betty Ford.

      I just had a vision of vodka cream sauce shots. UGH 😦

  5. jamie Says:

    Now I only use Hornel for chili dogs, but don’t knock Sandra. Her ability to make an appetizer, entree, dessert, and four alcoholic concoctions to pair with each course can be intriguing.

  6. jamie Says:

    Okay – I have not been drinking myself. I didn’t realize that the earlier one posted. I thought that the half-a-bar signal I was getting in rural Kansas allowed it to go through. My apologies!

  7. Nicole Says:

    Great tips, Matt! I like using a rotisserie chicken in Jambalya. It cuts way down on the cooking time and the meat doesn’t dry out.

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