Coast Cooking

Don’t have time to make a nice dinner? Yes you do. Start with a rotiesserie chicken

Rotisserie chicken and mushrooms make a rich and delicious pairing.
Rotisserie chicken and mushrooms make a rich and delicious pairing. Special to the Sun Herald

If you’re like most people, you are too busy these days to cook a special supper after a long day at the office.

If so, you’ve probably stopped by the grocery store and picked up a rotisserie chicken to take home for supper.

It’s not a bad idea. Rotisserie chicken can be pretty good. All you have to do is add a side dish or two and supper is ready.

There is, however, a lot more you can do with that rotisserie chicken, and it can be done in 30 minutes or less.

The first thing you must do is de-bone the chicken. It is a bit messy, but it is a job that can be done in minutes. Take the leg and thigh off in one piece. Remember, this is a hands-on job. Just dig in.

Now remove the breast, doing your best to keep it in one big piece.

If the recipe you are using requires chicken stock, you can use a packaged or canned stock if you want to save time.

If, however, you have some time, you can make your own for a tastier dish.

Here’s how:

Just add chicken bones to a big pot with 4-6 cups of water, a cup or two of chopped onion, celery, bell pepper (which can be found pre-cut in the produce section) season with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning and a little olive oil and simmer for 1 hour.

That’s the basic first step to the recipes below. Otherwise, all of these recipes can be completed in 30 minutes or less.

Remember to taste and re-season to your liking and have a little fun while you are at it.

Chicken and Mushrooms

This recipe uses rotisserie chicken legs and thighs that are mentioned above. You will need two rotisserie chickens for this recipe.

4 chicken thighs and legs from two rotisserie chickens

1 cup Creole Seasoning (precut vegetable mix)

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups whole button mushrooms

Drippings from rotisserie chicken

Olive oil

2 teaspoons flour and butter for a roux

Salt, pepper, Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

Optional: 1 cup dry white wine

Sauté the mushrooms in a little oil until they release their liquid. Remove and set aside. Add the Creole seasoning, more oil if necessary, and season well. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, the stock, the chicken drippings (and optional wine) and bring to a simmer to reduce. In a separate pan, add the butter and flour, turn heat to medium and stir until you have a dark brown roux, then whisk into the sauce. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook only to warm the chicken. Serve at once.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

This is a short-cut gumbo. If you have the extra time to cook it longer, double the cooking time for each step.

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1 cup sliced Conecuh smoked sausage

2 cups Creole seasoning (combination of bell pepper, onion and celery in vegetable section)

5 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons butter

Salt, pepper, tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning, red pepper flakes

Olive oil

Sauté the sausage in oil until well-browned. Remove and set aside. Add the Creole seasonings to the same pan (do not remove any oil), and season aggressively with all the seasonings, to your taste. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock, stir well, taste and re-season as necessary. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the butter and flour to a heavy-bottom pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until you have a lovely dark brown roux. Add the roux, sausage and chicken to the pot. Simmer just until it is thick. Serve with rice.

Kim Wilson’s Three Bean Chicken Chili

My friend Kim Wilson made this dish for me recently, and I thought it was great. I am not always a fan of using canned beans, but when you are in a hurry it’s the thing to do.

2-3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1 can red beans

1 can white beans

1 can black beans

2 cups Creole Seasoning (pre-cut vegetable mix)

4 cups chicken stock

1 cup cream

Chipotle seasoning, chili powder

Red pepper flakes, salt

Optional: chopped jalapeno peppers

Olive oil

Drain the beans, and then mix together in a large bowl. Add Creole Seasoning to a well-oiled, heavy-bottom pot (cast iron is best), sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remember to season as you go. Add the stock and cream, stir to incorporate, then taste and season as necessary. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the beans. If you want to hurry up thickening the chili, use an emersion blender, but don’t overdo it. When thick enough, add the chicken, taste and re-season one last time. Serve with steamed rice.