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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Leftover Chicken Makeover

Jules here-

For those of you who have been grocery shopping lately (and if you don't have any money), you might have noticed that the meat prices have seemed to have skyrocketed.  As much as I love serving my family pasta and rice, they need some heartier fare to be satisfied.  Though my daughters would beg for steak every night, we rarely eat red meat even once a month.  I would love to serve seafood and steak every week, but we can't due to price restraints and my desire to eat only grass-fed beef and non-Asian-farmed seafood.

So we eat chicken. A lot of chicken. How can I make my own staple more interesting and easy? I try to re-work the leftovers into something new and exciting.

First, either make a roaster chicken or grilled chicken breasts the first night.  I usually get the biggest roaster I can find and I grill 3-4 extra breasts so I can use leftovers for 2-3 days rather than have to cook them fresh every night.  So here are a few recipes that use leftover chicken. 

These Fajitas look better than mine... I never have lime....

Poor Man's Leftover Chicken Fajitas
(amounts will vary depending on how much chicken you have and how many people you have to serve)

Leftover chicken, cut into strips
1-2 onions, sliced
1-2 green peppers, sliced
Cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper
Sour Cream
Cheddar Cheese

1. Sauté onions and peppers in large skillet until softened.
2. Add in sliced chicken with a quarter cup of water (up to a 1/2 a cup if using lots of leftovers)
3. Add seasonings (be generous!!)
4. Heat tortillas and serve with toppings.

Poor Man's Leftover Chicken & Biscuits

Leftover chicken, cubed 
1 Small chopped onion
Frozen peas (or canned)
Frozen cubed carrots (or canned))
Frozen corn (or canned)
1 can of cream of chicken or celery soup
Can of biscuits (or make your own)

1. Cook biscuits according to directions (or use the easy bisquick recipe!!)
2. Meanwhile, sauté onion with a bit of oil in a skillet.
3. Add frozen veggies until softened (if using canned veggies, only heat them quickly through before next step)
4. Add cubed chicken.
5. When heated through, add cream of chicken soup with 1/2 cup of milk (or more if too thick). Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve over hot biscuits.

Poor Man's Chicken Enchiladas

Leftover chicken, shredded or sliced thinly
1 can of Rotel tomatoes with chili peppers
6 oz cream cheese
1 can green enchilada sauce
Cheddar cheese

1.  Add chicken, tomatoes, and cream cheese to a skillet and cook until all is incorporated and softened.
2. Add 1/2 cup to each tortilla, roll them and place them seam-side down in baking pan.
3. Poor enchilada sauce (It's not very thick) over all tortillas in pan.  Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
4. Bake 20-30 minutes until heated through at 350 degrees.

A few other ideas with leftover chicken:
  • Chicken salad
  • Quick chicken quesadillas
  • Grilled chicken over salad
  • Chicken club sandwiches (using bacon and sliced chicken)
Also, you can freeze cooked chicken because sometimes your family may get sick of chicken, no matter how you make it!!

Easy Rule #8710- Be creative with leftovers and someone might actually eat them.

Easy Rule #34890- Clean out your fridge regularly so you know what's in there....

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