Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

What to Do With Leftover Roast Chicken, Part 1

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

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Since my son was born, I’ve become an even bigger fan of things I can cook in the oven with minimal interventions before or after, so roast chicken is in even heavier rotation than before.  I used to be at a loss for what to do with the leftover bits, but I’ve come up with a strategy and a few options.  We eat the dark meat the night I roast the chicken, since the white meat is more flexible as an ingredient.  Then I save the chicken in a gallon freezer bag with as much juice and good stuff as I can scrape off the bottom of the roasting pan.  The next day I separate the white meat and the oysters (the little bits of meat from underneath the chicken) from the carcass and put them aside.  The carcass and any other bits, globs, or pieces go into a pot to boil with a few quarts of water, salt, peppercorns, some onion or shallot and whatever other aromatic vegetables I have, like celery, fennel, carrots, and/or parsley.   After it boils, I let it simmer for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes, and then I strain out the solids, leaving me with a few quarts of really delicous stock.

I can now make one of the following two meals for two with minimal effort:

Chicken, Avocado and Walnut Salad with Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Hearty Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

Voila, dinner that no one will complain about.

Chicken, Avocado and Walnut Salad

1 clove garlic, smashed
2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
4 tbsp walnut oil
4 cups salad greens, washed, carefully dried, and torn into bite sized-pieces
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 avocado, thinly sliced
2 leftover chicken breasts, diced

Put the garlic, vinegar, and salt in the bottom of a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the walnut oil. Add the salad greens and toss (I use my hands for this.) Top with avocado, walnuts, and chicken.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

1/2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic
1 1/4 tsp hot smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
2-3 quarts chicken stock
1 can pumpkin puree
salt and pepper to taste
cream for garnish

In a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan, saute the garlic, paprika and cumin for a minute or two until the raw smell comes off the garlic. Add the stock and the sweet potato, bring to a boil, and simmer until the potato is cooked through. Add pumpkin puree and blend soup together with an immersion blender (or in small batches in a regular blender or food processor, but seriously, just do yourself a favor and get an immersion blender.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a small drizzle of heavy cream in each bowl.

Spicy Sausage, Kale, and White Bean Soup

2 fresh Andouille sausages
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tbsp tomato paste (I buy it in a tube, so I don’t waste it when I just need small amounts.)
1 can white beans, strained and rinsed
2-3 quarts chicken stock
leftover chicken, diced
1 bunch kale
red pepper flakes to taste

Gently heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Squeeze the sausages out of their casing into the pan, raise the heat to medium high, and saute until cooked through, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go. Add garlic and tomato paste and saute for one more minute. Add white beans and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add kale and red pepper flakes, and simmer until kale stems are cooked through, about five minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve. Slices of baguette or other bread grilled in the broiler and rubbed with garlic are a nice accompaniment.

Chicken, Bok Choy, and Shiitake Mushroom Stirfry with Brown Rice

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Growing up in Woodstock NY in the ’70s, I ate my fair share of tempeh, homemade yogurt, and stirfries heavily seasoned with any old spices or condiments that happened to be hanging around, particularly large doses of tamari (Japanese wheat-free soy sauce). In general, I’m not a huge fan of the whole Moosewood school of cooking, but every so often, I get a craving for something inauthentically Asian, by way of the health food store. My version here contains chicken (so there, vegetarians!) as well as bok choy, shitake mushrooms, and toasted almonds. You can be very creative with stirfries, but there are some key principles to follow:

  • Remember that each of the ingredients has its own optimal cooking time. After you’ve finished your prep, come up with a game plan for adding (and in some cases, temporarily removing) ingredients so that nothing is over- or under-cooked.
  • Just because it’s in your fridge doesn’t mean it belongs in your dish. Try to use ingredients that complement one another in flavor, sweetness, color, and texture.
  • Watch how much soy sauce/tamari etc. you use! Rather than indiscriminately dumping in more of any condiment when you need to add moisture to the pan, I like to mix up a batch of sauce that tastes balanced to me, which I usually make somewhat diluted with either water or broth. Then I add that instead of a squirt of soy sauce. That way you don’t wind up with any one flavor dominating.

I like it with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on top, proving that you can be nostalgic for anything.

For the rice:

Start the rice first, since it takes a while to cook.

1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 cups water
pinch of salt

Combine in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid (don’t cover just yet though.) Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

For the stirfry:

2 boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/8 inch slices
1 lb baby bok choy, washed, ends removed, and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
20 large shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch scallions, washed and sliced into wedgy-julienne (long diagonal slices, turning the scallion after each cut so that the layers of each slice will separate )
1 small red jalapeno, cut into fine dice
1 tsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup toasted almond slivers

For sauce:

2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp agave syrup
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup chicken broth

Combine all sauce ingredients except chicken broth, and taste. Should taste balanced, a little sweet, a little sour, a little salty. Add half the sauce to a bowl with the sliced raw chicken to marinate, and then add the chicken broth to the remaining sauce to use during cooking.

Heat a large saute pan or a wok over high heat. Add vegetable oil, then the chicken, and brown lightly on all sides until chicken is cooked through. Remove from the pan and reserve. Add mushrooms and bok choy and saute for several minutes, until bok choy leaves wilt and their stems turn bright green and soften. Add sauce as needed to prevent sticking or the bottom of the pan getting brown & crusty. Add jalapeno and scallions, and saute for two more minutes, until the scallions soften. Add toasted almonds and serve with brown rice.

Serves 4.

If you have leftovers, combine the stirfry and rice, and saute in a little extra vegetable oil with an egg for some tasty fried rice.

Mustard Panko Chicken

Monday, June 11th, 2007


Julia Child was on to something with this recipe for Chicken Broiled with Mustard, Herbs, and Breadcrumbs, although the multi-step broiling process seems too complicated for what could just be a tasty thing to cook after work on a weeknight. We like it with sauteed kale or a green salad and mashed sweet potatoes, although when I made it the other night I had half a loaf of olive bread from Bouley Bakery left over and going stale which I turned into a panzanella with olives, tomatoes, some creamy Israeli feta, basil, and pine nuts. It’s great either with homemade breadcrumbs or panko, and, as Julia suggests, the perfect wine to drink is a rosé.

8 chicken thighs, boneless or with bones
4 tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup dijon mustard (not the grainy kind)
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup panko or homemade breadcrumbs
1 tsp dried thyme or tarragon
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, combine butter , mustard, and garlic. In another small bowl, combine panko, dried thyme or tarragon, salt, and pepper. Coat the chicken pieces thoroughly but lightly with the mustard-butter combination, then with the panko-or-breadcrumb mixture. Place in a baking dish that is big enough so that none of the pieces are touching, and bake until done. This should be about 25-30 minutes for boneless pieces and about 10 minutes longer with bones.

Chicken Fricasee

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

I love cozy wine-flavored winter stews: this is a classic based on a recipe from Julia Child. In From Julia Child’s Kitchen this recipe appears side by side with the recipe for Coq au Vin, as the techniques and ingredients are so similar — a quick sauté followed by a slow simmer in a wine-y liquid.

This is a simple recipe. The most time consuming part is peeling the pearl onions, one of the all-time most irritating kitchen chores, on a par with washing lettuce or peeling butternut squash. You can cut this time in half by blanching the onions in boiling water for about 45 seconds and allowing them to cool for a few minutes before peeling. Make sure this is finished before you start the chicken.

Because the wine makes up such a high percentage of the cooking liquid, it’s best to choose something you’d be more than happy to drink on its own. My choice would be a nicely balanced French chardonnay or pinot gris. Serve this over rice, wild rice, basmati rice, or egg noodles. Serves 6 as a hearty supper or 10-12 as a light meal.

2 1/2 lbs chicken parts, patted dry
4 tbsp butter
salt & pepper
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp dried tarragon
1 tbsp dried thyme
30-40 peeled yellow or white pearl onions
2 cups decent quality white wine
up to 1 quart chicken broth
3/4 lb button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1 bunch fresh tarragon

Melt butter over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed pan with a cover (the Le Crueset dutch oven, pictured, is ideal.) Sauté chicken for 10-15 minutes until the exterior firms up, turning frequently so it doesn’t brown. The skin should be pale golden in color. Add salt, pepper, dried tarragon, thyme, and onions, and cover. Cook for about 10 more minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir. Remove from heat and add wine, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add chicken broth to cover, replace over medium-high heat and simmer gently for 35-40 minutes, until chicken pieces are cooked through. Add mushrooms and simmer a few minutes more. Turn heat to low. Stir in cream and fresh tarragon, and serve immediately.

NOTE FOR DISAPPOINTED FRICASSEURS: The fact that your fricasee failed to thicken is MY FAULT. This shit’s supposed to have flour in it. You’re at least as good a cook as me, and a better copy editor.