We are almost done with the Big Ass Salad series and the last two salads are truly full meal salads. This Rotisserie chicken salad with wild rice has loads of vegetables and a simple vinaigrette dressing but is a complete lunch or dinner meal any time you need it!
While you could roast a chicken for this salad or use leftover chicken, the rotisserie chicken is truly the way to go here. They tend to be very juicy and easy to shred and work great in salads. Plus, time saver!
Let’s dig in and make this big salad!
How to use a rotisserie chicken
If you wanted to roast a whole chicken for this salad or poach a few chicken breasts, that’s fine. You do you!
For my time, a rotisserie chicken for $10-$12 is worth it and I love how easy they shred. Perfect for salads like this!
You only need 3-4 cups of shredded chicken for this salad which will get you most of the way through a rotisserie chicken, but if you have leftovers you can save it for later and don’t forget to save the chicken carcass for good homemade stock!
How to cook wild rice
Wild rice isn’t something I cook with very often mainly because it does take a while to cook, usually 40-45 minutes, but there is just something so delicious about it in a salad like this. I just didn’t want to substitute it.
Wild rice has a heartier texture than white or brown rice and has a nuttier and more interesting flavor.
I cook mine by running it under cold water in a mesh strainer until the water is completely clear. Then I add the rice to about three cups of water (for 1 1/2 cups rice). Bring that to a simmer with a tight fitting lid and let it simmer over low heat for 40 minutes.
Check the rice halfway through and if the pot is dry, add another cup of rice.
After cooking, if the rice is tender, then drain off any extra water and let the rice steam for a few minutes in the pot. Let it cool before adding it to the salad so it doesn’t wilt the spinach.
How to make the vinaigrette
I thought about not even making a dressing for this salad or just doing a light olive oil and vinegar situation, but a little lemon flavor really brought all the other flavors out so I went with a simple lemon and honey vinaigrette.
Whisk together the ingredients and drizzle it over the salad.
As always, once you dress the salad, it won’t keep quite as well as an undressed salad so if you can hold off dressing it until you serve it, that’s the best.
Other ingredients for this rotisserie chicken salad
As far as other ingredients in this salad, I went with big flavor crunchy vegetables.
- Celery. Major crunch factor here and celery and chicken always go together.
- Red onion. You could use shallot or scallions but I like the bite of red onion. Slice them thin.
- Sweet corn. You can probably find fresh sweet corn this time of year and if you can just cut it off the cob and use that. Otherwise frozen sweet corn works fine.
- Baby spinach. I wanted to add some greens to this to mix into the rice and baby spinach just seemed like a good choice. You could use any mixed green though.
Rotisserie Chicken Salad with Wild Rice
- 1 ½ cup uncooked wild rice
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 cup sweet corn
Lemon Honey Vinaigrette:
- 1 lemon, juice only (about 3 tablespoons juice)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- For the vinaigrette, whisk together ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside for later. Adjust flavors to your liking.
- For wild rice, rinse the rice well in a mesh strainer until the water is clear. Add rice to a small pot with water. I usually start with three cups of water for 1 ½ cups wild rice. You might need more. Bring to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid, and simmer the rice for 40-45 minutes until it’s tender. Check the rice half way through and if the pot is dry, add another cup of water. When rice is tender, which can take some time, drain off any extra water, remove pot from the heat and allow rice to steam for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
- For chicken, remove skin from the rotisserie chicken and shred into pieces. You need about three cups of shredded chicken for the salad and you might have leftovers. Save the rest for stock!
- Make the salad by mixing the cooled rice and spinach together in a large bowl. Layer on the shredded chicken, corn, red onion, and celery. Drizzle with dressing and season to your liking.
- Serve salad immediately or store in the fridge for 3-4 days.