- June 16, 2008 at 11:14 am #258376
Coming up with dinner every day can be a pain in the neck especially if
you are a single cook. Just thinking about going to the store is
discouraging enough much less having to cook after a day’s work.Many of
us take the easy way out and throw something together from the leftover
dishes in the refrigerator and more often than not that leftover is
chicken.Not that there’s anything wrong with chicken.It’s quick easy and
economical. It tastes good and it’s good for you.But chicken is boring
if you always make the same old thing in the same old way.
Depending on the size of your cooking audience and with a little
imagination you can keep a roasted chicken going for a day or a
week.Start with a whole roasted or rotisserie broiled chicken from the
supermarket or a take out restaurant.After your first meal the rest of
the bird looms as leftovers.
Here are 25 ways to recycle leftover chicken without actually
cooking.With most of them you could round out the meal by serving a
salad a good piece of bread or a hard roll a piece of fresh fruit and a
couple of cookies.Most of the suggestions are quickie versions of more
complicated dishes.Assemble here heat up there.So who’s telling?t
1. International “Ketchup”: Heat up a hefty portion of leftover chicken
and serve with an international dipping sauce found in the ethnic
sections of supermarkets. Try Thai dipping sauce, Szechuan dipping
sauce, Indian chutney and a smoky cowboy barbecue sauce. Do it with Eggs
2. Chicken Deviled Eggs: Mash six hard cooked egg yolks with mayo,
grated onion, mustard and salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce to taste.
Stir in about a half-cup of finely chopped cooked chicken.
3. Omelet or Scrambled Eggs: Combine small cubes of chicken, cubes of
cream cheese and some chopped herbs (parsley, chives and tarragon make a
good combination). Toss into an omelet or scrambled eggs and let heat
through until the chicken is warm and the cream cheese is oozy. Match it
4. Pita Sandwich: Spread pita pocket bread (whole wheat or sesame) with
mayonnaise to which you’ve added a pinch of curry and a few drops of
fresh lemon juice. Add slices of cooked chicken. Stuff in a few slices
of mango or avocado for a surprise and finish with a good spray of
watercress or crisp lettuce. If you have some chopped nuts handy toss
5. Another Pita Sandwich: Spread pita pocket bread with mayo. Stuff it
with slices of leftover chicken, sweet cabbage relish and a slice of
tomato.Sprinkle generously with pepper. The crisp-sweet relish is the
flavor secret here.
6. Cheese Melt: Spread a split and partly toasted English muffin with
pesto or mayo, top with slices of leftover chicken and grated or sliced
cheese.Heat under the broiler until brown and bubbly.
7. White Pizza: Brush a small round of focaccia bread or Boboli with
olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder. Scatter with pieces of
leftover chicken, chopped fresh herbs and top with shredded mozzarella
cheese. Run under the broiler to brown.
8. Red Pizza: Slice a piece of French bread in half lengthwise. Brush it
with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder. Spoon on a little canned
pizza sauce and scatter shreds of leftover chicken over all. Add chopped
fresh basil and oregano if you have some. Top with shredded mozzarella
cheese. Run under the broiler to brown.
9. Mexican Pizza: Scatter shredded leftover chicken on a flour tortilla
to within a half inch of the edge. Generously shake mild or hot pepper
sauce onto the chicken.Top with some shredded mozzarella or jack cheese.
Run under the broiler until the cheese melts and browns and the edges of
the tortilla turn up like a saucer.Reach for additional hot pepper
10. Rancher Pizza: Scatter shredded leftover chicken on a flour
tortilla.Douse with smoked barbecue sauce. Top with grated cheddar
cheese if you like.Run under the broiler until cheese melts and browns
and the edges of the tortilla turn up like a saucer.
11. Peking Chicken: Steam a flour tortilla to warm and soften it. Spread
the tortilla with a teaspoon of hoisin sauce or more to taste (you can
boost the flavor with a drop of sesame oil), add thin shreds of leftover
chicken and small chopped pieces of chicken skin.The skin won’t be very
crisp but it adds a ton of flavor.Snip a scallion into rings and scatter
them over the chicken.Wrap up into a package.As an alternative spread
the hoisin sauce in a pita pocket and stuff with chicken, chicken skin
12. Fajitas: Saute a little sliced onion and green pepper in olive
oil.Place on a warm flour tortilla. Add strips of warm cooked leftover
chicken. Spritz with lime juice.Top with a dollop of sour cream,shredded
lettuce and a spoonful of salsa.Roll up into a package.Warm it up
13. Stir Fry: You don’t need a wok. A skillet will work just as well.
Toss sliced onion, garlic, red pepper, yellow squash and zucchini,
broccoli buds and bean sprouts with olive oil until soft. Toss in cubes
of leftover cooked chicken to heat. Douse with stir-fry sauce and heat
14. Fried Rice: Saute onion and garlic. Add a portion of leftover rice.
Add chopped scrambled egg, minced leftover vegetables and diced leftover
chicken. If there’s a little piece of ham or shrimp in the fridge chop
it and add. Season with soy sauce heat and serve.
15. Kebabs: Alternate cubes of leftover chicken, pineapple and red
pepper on a skewer. Brush with melted butter or spritz with olive oil
cooking spray and heat briefly under the broiler to brown.
16. Soup Helper: Reinforce any canned vegetable or chicken soup with
real pieces of chicken.
17. Variations on a theme: Toss leftover chicken pieces with almost
anything: apples, olives, mandarin oranges, avocado, ham, pesto. Add
celery or nuts for crunch, onions or shallots for bite and lemon juice
for zest. Bind with mayo, a little yogurt or sour cream. Serve on
lettuce or in a sandwich.
18. Chicken Caesar Salad:Toss pieces of romaine lettuce in a bowl.Add
chopped anchovies, chopped hard cooked egg and croutons.Toss with
bottled Caesar salad dressing.Top with strips of grilled chicken and
grated Parmesan cheese.
19. Cobb Salad: Top salad greens with strips of julienne of leftover
chicken, ham and cheese. Make other strips of red onion, crumbled bacon,
bleu cheese and diced tomatoes. Add avocado and hard cooked eggs if you
20. Pasta Salad: Bolster almost any homemade or store-bought pasta salad
with chunks of chicken.
21. Oriental Chicken Salad: Mix diced or shredded leftover chicken,
sliced water chestnuts, diced celery and a sliced scallion. Toss with
mayo to which you’ve added a pinch each of ginger and mustard and a
tablespoon or so of chopped candied ginger. Scatter sliced toasted
almonds over the top.Pick it off the Carcass
22. Chicken Log: Soften a small package of cream cheese, and add
Worcestershire sauce and mild or hot pepper sauce to taste. Add a
chopped stalk of celery and about a cup and a half of minced leftover
chicken. Mix well and dump onto a piece of waxed paper. Form into a log
and chill. Unwrap and roll in chopped nuts and parsley. Serve with
23. Chicken Hash: Mince up leftover chicken and leftover potatoes. Add a
beaten egg, a sliced scallion and season heavily. Melt butter in a
no-stick pan, add the mixture to the pan and heat until a crust forms.
Flip and cook on other side.
24. Mix it up: Toss scraps and shreds of leftover chicken into pancake
mix into waffle mix into griddle fritters.
25. Chicken Pecan Spread: Blend a large package of cream cheese and 1/3
cup mayo. Stir in 3/4 cup of pecans, 2 tablespoons chutney (chopped if
necessary), 1 -1/2 teaspoons curry powder and a tablespoon of chopped
parsley.Add 1 cup chopped leftover chicken and stir well. Turn into a
Serve with crackers or as a spread for pear or apple slices.
26. Time to buy another chicken.
The beauty of life is not how happy you are but how happy others can be
because of you.
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