Deli-Roasted Chicken to the Rescue

Sunday July 17, 2016

The rotisserie chickens from the supermarket delis have finally made their way into the mainstream American’s kitchen, not only as the centerpiece for a meal, but an ingredient as well. Once a rarity, now every market and warehouse like Costco I go to has their own roasted chickens, even organic chickens.

The chickens can be eaten immediately or chilled up to 3 days for use in recipes galore from sandwiches to salads and casseroles. Don’t forget to save the bones to make soup. My mother, ever the thrifty cook, would have a deli chicken dinner at her neighbor’s after they went shopping at Costco. Watching the bones get ready to go into the garbage, she asked to take them home. In the morning, into the soup pot goes the bones, celery, onion, and parsley to bubble away (no carrot-makes the broth too sweet says my mom). An hour later her neighbor called over “what is that fabulous smell coming from your kitchen?” “It’s your chicken bones from last night,” was the answer. It was an ah ha culinary moment.

It is easy to get hooked once you smell the delicious aroma of the homestyle chicken, all ready to eat immediately for a hassle-free entrée to eat with your fingers or to create the likes of this layered pulled chicken sandwich. You will love this easy sandwich. This is a messy sandwich in all its glory. It has the moist chicken, onion rings, and coleslaw layered up in a perfect pile. It is fantastic. Do the shredding while the chicken is still warm if possible, or at least before it has been refrigerated.

Pulled Chicken Sandwich


Cooking Method: Oven

Cook Time: About 12 minutes

Serves 4


  • 16 frozen onion rings, baked according to package instructions, or deli ready-made onion rings
  • Citrus Coleslaw
  • 1 very small head green cabbage or 1/2 large head (1 1/4 pounds), core discarded and finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise or Vegenaise soy mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Few grinds fresh black or white pepper
  • Pulled Chicken
  • 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (usually the whole chicken)
  • 1/2 cup plain barbecue sauce of choice
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle adobo sauce
  • 4 Kaiser rolls, sliced in half, toasted if desired


Make the onion rings. Place the onion rings on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake in a preheated oven according to package directions.

Make the coleslaw. In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage and carrot. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, orange juice concentrate, sugar, salt, and pepper until evenly combined. Add to the vegetables and stir to evenly coat; add a bit more mayonnaise if you like a wetter slaw but when you keep stirring the cabbage will give off moisture and get wetter. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Makes about 4 1/2 cups.

Prepare the chicken. Place the chicken in a medium bowl and mix with the barbecue sauce, vinegar, and adobo sauce until evenly coated.

To serve: Place the bottom of the rolls, each on a dinner plate. Pile the chicken on the bottom, then top with the slaw, then 4 warm onion rings and the top of the roll. Serve immediately, probably with a cold beer or flavored sparkling water.

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2009, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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