How To Cut A Rotisserie Chicken in under 3 minutes. This quick tutorial and video will teach you a handy kitchen hack that will make meal prep on busy nights super easy!
This method will also work with broiled or a whole roasted chicken that you have prepared at home.
We use rotisserie chicken is so many different recipes. Some of our favorite ways to use it are as a tasty add-in for easy meals like pasta recipes or in salads. It's also what we use in our Classic Chicken Salad Recipe.
Why You'll Love This Handy Meal Prep Hack
Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite meal prep hacks that is a total time and money saver. Learn how to cut up a rotisserie chicken in under three minutes. And in the process save yourself some money on your grocery bill and meal prep.
You can buy rotisserie chicken already cut up at Costco for around $13. Or you can buy one for around $5 and cut it up yourself. That's a huge savings. And that's at Costco prices. Prices of prepared (and processed) chicken at the grocery store are even more expensive. Have you ever checked out the prices of grilled boneless skinless chicken breasts at the prepared food counter at your local grocery store? I've paid $5 per piece and made a note to self never to do that again.
Let's get to it!
Here's What You Need
- 1 whole rotisserie chicken - We like to buy ours from Costco, because they're larger and less expensive than the one's we find in the local grocery store.
- Clean cutting board - We use a large wooden cutting board so that there is enough room to work.
- Sharp knife - We use a chef's knife to make short work of cutting up the meat. A smaller knife will work, but take more time.
- Disposable gloves - Use food grade vinyl gloves for cleanliness and sanitation.
- Storage containers - Make meal prep a breeze. Store and freeze portions in a zip-top plastic bag. Pull out a bag the night before and thaw it in the refrigerator to use as needed.
Get your gloves on and your knife ready to go. This is going to be quick and easy. The whole thing should take you less than 3 minutes.
Easy Step By Step Instructions
- Prep your work space. Set the chicken skin side up on a cutting board and open the container lid and set it nearby. You will use it to hold the discarded bones and skin.
- Legs and thighs first. Keep the chicken in the drip pan container with the legs pointed toward you. Grab the body with one hand and pull off a leg quarter (thighs and leg portion) with the other. Slide the skin off and begin to pull off the pieces of dark meat.
Do the same with the other side.
- Remove the skin. Remove the skin by running your fingers down the center of the whole bird just between the skin and the breast bone. Move the skin to each side exposing the two pieces of white breast meat.
- Remove the breasts and tenderloins. Remove the breasts and then the tenderloins, located just underneath the breasts, on each side. Along with any other meat you see.
- The Wings. Pull off the wing tips and remove any bits of tender meat. Watch out for the long sharp bones.
- Don't forget the oysters. The oysters are the hidden little nuggets of the most tender meat on the chicken. To find them, turn it over to the underside. The oysters are located along the backbone near the thighs, tucked just under the long thin piece of meat that you'll see there.
Keep them for yourself as your reward for your work. They are delicious!
- Cut it up. Gather up the chicken pieces and cut them up into smaller, bite-sized pieces. And that's it!
Pro Tips You Need to Know
Cut Warm Chicken Only - Always cut up a rotisserie chicken while it is still warm. The warm meat will just slide right off the bone with your hands. It will not come off the bone very easily if it is cold, and you will have to use a knife to do it.
Use Gloves - This is messy work. We recommend using disposable food grade vinyl gloves for cleanliness and sanitation purposes. They are a necessity for those of us who like to keep our hands clean and make food prep a breeze.
Video: Watch How It's Done
Freezing and Storing Leftover Chicken FAQS
Refrigerated Rotisserie Chicken: According to the USDA, cooked poultry is good for approximately 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Frozen Rotisserie Chicken: According to the USDA, frozen cooked poultry is good (quality-wise) for approximately 4 months. Interestingly, the USDA says that "frozen foods remain safe indefinitely."
Always remove the meat from the bones and cut up a rotisserie chicken before storing it in an airtight container in either the refrigerator or freezer. This will make for faster meal prep and easier use.
There is approximately 1.75 lbs of of meat on a large rotisserie chicken.
Recipes To Make With Rotisserie Chicken
- Chicken Alfredo - with your favorite pasta.
- Substitute for grilled chicken in our copycat Olive Garden Asiago Tortelloni Alfredo.
- Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- Add-in for Salads (Meal Prep) - 1 cut up rotisserie chicken will yield enough meat for 5 lunch portion salads for the week.
- Pot Pies
- Fried Rice
- Chicken with Gravy - Served over rice or mashed potatoes.
- Chicken Soup or Homemade Stock- Make soup with the entire rotisserie chicken (or with just the skin and bones) and add the meat back in to the soup before serving.
- Bone Broth
- Save the juices from the container - There is approximately ¼ cup of drippings or juices from the rotisserie chicken in the bottom of the container that can be used to make gravy or as broth in cooking.