Stuck in the time warp that is the days between Christmas and New Year’s, the thought of an unexpected house guest is enough to strike fear into even the most prepared host’s soul.

Have no fear though, Dedwood Deli boss Adrian Hoffmann and private chef, Hercules Noble, are on hand with some tips for turning the humble rotisserie chook into a showstopping centrepiece.

“If you’re getting a rotisserie chicken, you’re already a little bit stressed, so our hope is not to add to that and help people remember there’s always time to make something that tastes good,” Hoffmann told Stuff.

So, here are three things you can do to pimp up your bachelor’s handbag, with ingredients you most likely have lurking in the back of your fridge already.

1. Sandwich

As owner of Dedwood Deli – an Auckland-based eatery known for its sammies – Hoffmann’s first suggestion is, of course, a sandwich.

“The main concern is the chicken being dry if it’s leftover rotisserie chicken, but by following some really simple principles, you can use it as a staple for a great sandwich,” according to Hoffmann.

First up – the sauce. At Dedwood, Hoffmann goes for “one or two sauces that are complimentary max, think sweet and savoury, or fatty and salty”.

For one potential sauce to save you from the dreaded dry chook, add ground coriander to chopped up raw onion and mix it together with a greek yoghurt.

“The thought here is you’re taking something creamy and adding it to something acidic, like an onion, but that could also be capers, for instance. You then add the herbs – fresh is great, but if you don’t have that, then even something you have in your spice rack works too.”

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could make a “kind of miso aioli” with moyannaise whipped together with miso. Partnered a relish with a sweeter profile, you get a smokey, creamy mayo, according to Hoffmann.

“Everything should be with the thought of no intention – don’t go to the supermarket freaking out about what exactly is going into this sauce. What do you have in your fridge? Put it together and put it with some yoghurt. It’s actually that simple.”

Next up is a little bit of salad to add some freshness to your sammy.

“Grab the lettuce you have lurking in the back of your fridge, the one stray tomato you have leftover and that random half an onion, and chop it up. Getting those fresh ingredients in there is really how you’ll jazz it up.”

For bread, focaccia and sourdough are the staples at Dedwood. While sourdough is best toasted, focaccia can hold its own fresh.

Layer your sauce, salad and chicken up, and you have yourself a rotisserie chicken sandwich worthy of Dedwood Deli itself.

2. Salad

Your rotisserie chicken could also be used as the backbone for a salad, says Hoffmann.

“It’s the same principle for salads – super basic, fresh ingredients mixed together are perfect for bringing to a picnic or serving to guests in your backyard.”

At Dedwood, Hoffmann serves a chicken and orange salad, which “may sound weird, but is amazing, I promise”.

To make a variation of the classic, shred your rotisserie chicken, mix it with whatever greens you have on hand (mixed lettuce, for instance), some fruit (for example, apple slices, dried cranberries or orange), nuts (toasted almost or walnuts would well) and a simple vinaigrette. Et voilà!

3. Frittata

Noble takes the reins for a third and final way of jazzing up a bachelor’s handbag – a frittata.

Toss some olive oil in a pan and add some defrosted peas. Drop the chicken in the pan, add some spinach and let it wilt, before adding a squeeze of lemon juice.

In a bowl, whisk together your eggs and add seasoning.

Once the chicken is warmed through and the peas are fully defrosted, add everything in the pan to the whisked eggs (it’s best to do it this way round to distribute your frittata filling more evenly, says Noble).

Add some more olive oil to your pan and pour the egg and filling mix back into the pan. Pop the pan in the oven on the grill setting for five minutes, and you have yourself a healthy, high-protein frittata.

And there you have it – three quick and easy ways you can jazz up a supermarket rotisserie chicken on a budget!

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