We all know the power of store-bought rotisserie chicken. When you're short on time but want to make a substantial meal, that chicken you pick up can be your best friend. Buy one, shred it up and make something impressive. 

It's easy to use the chicken to top salads and shove in a burrito, but we're thinking a little bigger. Try substituting store-bought chicken in these recipes for chicken, chorizo and green chile hash, a roasted chicken curry sandwich, chicken pot pie, Thai chicken empanadas, chicken, peanut and noodle wraps. Some of these recipes you could even serve at your next impromptu dinner party.

CALIFORNIA COOKBOOK: Delicious recipes to make over and over

CHICKEN, CHORIZO AND GREEN CHILE HASH

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 6

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 pound Mexican chorizo, squeezed from casing and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked chicken, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped roasted green chiles
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Directions: 

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and chicken, and cook until the chicken is almost warmed through, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the potatoes, cover and cook without stirring until browned and beginning to crisp around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the chiles, stirring them into the potatoes, then re-cover and cook until the potatoes are well browned, about 4 minutes longer. Stir the chicken and chorizo mixture into the skillet, then drizzle over the cream, paprika, and oregano. Stir to combine, scraping up any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Top with chopped green onions and serve.

Each serving: 611 calories; 46 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 39 grams fat; 16 grams saturated fat; 164 mg. cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 934 mg. 

ROASTED CHICKEN CURRY SANDWICH

Active work and total preparation time: 15 minutes | Serves 1 to 2

Ingredients: 

  • 1 3/4 cups shredded roasted chicken
  • 2 tablespoons minced celery
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/8 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 pita bread
  • 4 leaves red leaf lettuce

Directions: 

Place the chicken and celery in a mixing bowl.

Mix together the yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, curry powder and cumin in a small bowl, then add to the chicken and celery. Stir well, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the pita in half to form two pockets. Line each pocket with 2 lettuce leaves. Spoon the chicken mixture into the pita halves, dividing evenly.

Each of 2 servings: 420 calories; 418 mg sodium; 110 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 41 grams protein; 1.51 grams fiber.  

CHICKEN POT PIE