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Rotisserie Chickens to the Rescue

If you are time-starved but too stubborn to give up home-cooked meals just because life can be chaotic—I invite you to embrace these two words: Rotisserie chickens.

 

Supermarket rotisserie chicken on serving plate

 

Not exactly take-out, not completely home-cooked, think of a well seasoned, perfectly cooked rotisserie chicken as your ace in the hole; a kitchen assistant with an extra pair of hands to help you get delicious, home-cooked meals on the table in a flash.

These days, nearly every grocery store or supermarket—even warehouse clubs—offer fully roasted, hot, and ready-to-go rotisserie chickens for around $5. In fact, rotisserie chickens are so readily available, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued safety guidelines for selecting and storing* them.

Today, I want to give you basic guidelines for what to do with a rotisserie chicken as soon as you get home. 

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How to Make Taco Seasoning Mix and What to Do With It

Seasoning packets from the supermarket may be convenient, but they have drawbacks—not the least of which is they’re relatively expensive! I just checked Lawry’s Taco Spices and Seasonings Mix—! I just hate to pay that much for so little. And I don’t have to because I’ve got a great recipe to make taco seasoning mix myself, using ordinary spices I have already. As a bonus know exactly what’s in it, and how old the ingredients are.

 

Plate of two soft shell beef tacos

 

The recipes that follow call for the amount of seasoning you would find in the typical supermarket seasoning packet—about 4 1/2 tablespoons of mix.

While you could make the amount you need as you need it, a better idea is to make a bunch while you’re at it, then keep it tightly sealed in your spice rack. It’ll come in handy more times than you can imagine. The recipe multiplies well.

Enjoy this simple mix and the two family-friendly recipes that follow for both beef and chicken tacos. Yum!  Read more

How To Make Family-Friendly Finger Foods Your Kids Will Love

Are trips through the closest fast-food joint driving a hole through your food budget? It’s no wonder. Prices on all foods are sky-rocketing, but fast food takes that prize. Yikes!

 

Homemade Chicken Fingers in a Basket Better than Fast-Food Drive-Thru

 

Unlike supermarkets where every week you can find fabulous sales, you’ll never find sales at Wendy’s, McDonald’s or Burger King. Or any other fast-food restaurant for that matter. I don’t consider an occasional coupon to be a Sale.

I know what you’re thinking: Chicken. Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Fingers, Chicken Sandwiches—they’re all so tasty from these places, so convenient and so kid-friendly.

Consider this: In less time than it takes you to get into the car and drive to the closest drive-thru, you can make your own fast-food chicken fare—for half the price, or less. In fact, you can make a fabulous coating mix to mimic the best-coated chicken you’ve ever eaten, in five minutes flat.

And if that’s not enough, you’ll get three bonuses for your effort:

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Chicken Labeling: Prepare to Be Surprised

If you’ve ever stood in the supermarket wondering if paying more for chicken that is free-range, antibiotic-free, no hormones added, farm-raised, natural, and organic is going to make you healthier, wealthier, wise—or just a better person—you’re not alone. 

Recently, as I was doubting myself on my chicken choices I decided to get to the bottom of what all of this really means. It’s not what I thought.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a cabinet-level agency that oversees the regulation of food-grade chicken and is responsible for the claims on packaging and labels.

And despite all of the hype and fluff, there is only one label—organic—that guarantees specific standards and for which you might consider paying more. 

Briefly here is what all of it means—or doesn’t mean—according to the USDA.

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Secrets to No-Fail Tender Juicy Chicken Breasts

They’re convenient and, we’re told, more healthy. But there are few things quite as boring or more difficult to prepare well than boneless skinless chicken breasts (BSCB).

 

Here’s the problem: Chicken skin helps to keep the chicken moist and the bones add flavor.

Remove both and what do you have? The potential for dry, tasteless, tough chicken.

But not to worry. Here are two foolproof methods to prepare BSCB so they come out and tender every time—provided that you follow these instructions exactly.

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Worst and Best Ways to Grill Chicken

In a recent post, I asked readers to share their worst barbecue/grilling experiences that could have been spared if they’d had a decent instant-read thermometer.

ThermaPen and Grilled Chicken

Photo credit: ThermoWorks

I loved reading your comments, some of which are so funny you had me laughing out loud. But more than that, I learned that most of our grilling disasters involve chicken.

Grilled chicken should be delicious, moist, tender, and full of flavor. But all too often it turns out bloody raw in the middle, or bone-dry and tough as shoe leather.

Here it is: Simple Secrets for Grilling Cheap Cuts of Meat

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