Handling Your Rotisserie Chicken Safely
- Make your rotisserie chicken the last item on your grocery list.
- Be sure the chicken is actually hot if you choose one from the heated section, or cold if you pick one up from the refrigerated section. Bacteria grows at temperatures between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. So:
- Bring the chicken straight home.
- Eat it or refrigerate it within two hours, or within an hour on particularly hot days.
- If you do choose to refrigerate the rotisserie chicken, remove the meat and store it in a shallow container or a plate so it can cool quickly.
- When the chicken pieces are cool, cover the container or put the meat into sealable plastic bags until youre ready to use the chicken. Use within four days or freeze the chicken pieces for up to four months. .
Carving a Rotisserie Chicken
- Place the chicken, breast side up, on a clean cutting board.
- Cut any twine thats holding the legs together.
- Hold the chicken in place with a meat fork. Gently pull one leg away from the breast and cut where it joins the bird. You should be able to cut clean through. Repeat with the other leg. Separate the thigh and the drumstick by cutting through the joint.
- Hold the wing tip and gently pull it away from the body until you can fit the knife easily between the wing and the breast. Cut where the two join.
- If you want to slice your rotisserie chicken, carve the breast from each side of the bird, starting on the outside and working your way to the center. Or remove the breast from each side in its entirety, feeling for where the meat joins the bones.
- To get the most out of your rotisserie chicken, use the carcass to make a chicken stock.
Once you have made the basic cuts, shredding, chopping or dicing the meat is up to you, depending on what you want to do with your rotisserie chicken. Sometimes using your fingers is the most efficient way to shred or create chunks of meat; or you can use two forks to pull the meat apart.
For Ten ways to use a rotisserie chicken, see the next page >>