Christmas leftovers stew

A bowl of stew with a spoon sticking in it.We all end up with leftovers at Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate!), don’t we? I know I do. Not only did we have leftover chicken from our Christmas-Day-at-home this year, but also turkey that Mom sent home with us the night before.  We had an entire veggie tray that was just going to waste, too. So, I put  on my thinking cap, set my big stew pot on the stove and started to clean out the fridge. Here’s what I did…

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Things to do with pre-roasted chickens from the grocery – Day 1

A plastic container with a cardboard wrap-around handle on it holds a 1 pound pre-roasted chicken, purchased from the grocery store.Let’s face it: it’s too hot to use the oven when it’s the middle of a scorching summer season. Hell, I don’t even enjoy cooking on the stove-top or on the indoor grill in the summer. Anything that gives off heat makes me groan. But some things are necessities. I have a bunch of chicken in the freezer that just isn’t getting cooked because, well, it’s frozen and I don’t want to get the oven baking.

So on a whim, I purchased two of those pre-roasted chickens from the grocery store today.  I usually shop at Metro due to convenience, but most places sell these things. They’re about $10-15 per bird. These ones were $9.99 exactly, so I picked up two. (Also, I have no idea what “Mammoth Barbecue Chicken” means, unless a one-pound bird is super-huge. I have never bought a whole chicken before, so I have no point of reference.)

I decided to buy two, tear them up and see how many different meals we can get out of them (as well as how many dishes — to see how economical this was). Theoretically, these two birds should feed us all week if I play my cards right. Granted, I’m a white-meat gal. I have issues with the dark meat (largely texture-based), so the legs and wings will be going to hubby (and I’m sure he’ll be happy about that!). In other words, forgive me if this is breast meat-centric.

Today’s dinner? Take a peek:

A bowl of the finished product: Roasted chicken & sauteed mushrooms over pesto-slathered spinach & cheese ravioli..

Roasted chicken & sauteed mushrooms over pesto-slathered cheese & spinach ravioli.

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Chicken schnitzel? Yes please!

A bowl of egg noodles with peas, tomatoes, green onions & red peppers sits in front of a plate with a piece of chicken schnitzel.I have a confession to make: I love chicken schnitzel. I love it, I love it, I love it. It is so tasty. But this does not mean that I get to actually eat it very often.

The last time I ate it was the last time I was at a German restaurant. And that was back when there was actually snow on the ground, so it’s been many, many moons.

Surprisingly enough, I had never made schnitzel, myself. I thought, for some reason, that it was a really tough dish to make and that I wouldn’t get the knack or do it justice. After watching the Food Network over time, I have learned this is not so.

And since hubby had picked me up a meat tenderizer at one point, I thought this week I’d try my hand at it. I only wish that I had a third hand to take pictures, because this was so incredibly easy that I want the world to know and have everyone make their own because it is just so darned yummy. Continue reading

Apple-baked chicken & noodles with apple cream sauce

Apple-baked chicken with noodles drizzled with an apple cream sauce, accompanied by asparagus tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette dressingBefore I start to explain, go to this Food Network recipe for Apple Cider Chicken by Sunny Anderson. This is what I based my chicken dish off of. The main difference is that instead of finishing the entire dish off on the stove, I baked mine in the end. I still seared the chicken breasts (and I had 6, not 4) in the pan and sauteed the apples, onions, garlic, seasonings, etc. in the pan. Then after the apple cider was added and cooked down a bit, it was then poured over the chicken , I added a bit more cider, and I baked it all off at 350F for 30 minutes until the chicken’s internal temperature was 165F.

Then, while the chicken baked off, I got to work on a sauce for some egg noodles as a side dish. Here’s what I did:  Continue reading

Quick and easy meal: Egg in the Hole

Two portions of "Egg in the Hole", consisting of two pieces of bread with holes cut out of the middle, with an egg fried in the hole. The toast "holes" are on the side of the plate.I know I shouldn’t be eating so close to bedtime, but sometimes you get so hungry that you just know know you’re not going to sleep. Tonight was one of those nights and I found myself scrounging for something that would make the hunger go away that wasn’t just junk food. Here’s what I found: bread & eggs.

I could just fry up two eggs and toast some bread, but I thought: Egg in the Hole!! What the heck  is that, you say? Did you see V for Vendetta? If you did, remember that fried toast breakfast with the egg in the middle that V makes for Evie? Oh, and Gordon Dietrich makes it for her as well and called it “Eggie in a basket”, if memory serves me. Anyway, that’s what I made tonight. Continue reading

Non-Baking: Homemade Skor Bar

Broken pieces of homemade Skor bar in a black plastic box.I’m no baker. I’ve tried and tried again and most of my baking pursuits end up failing miserably. I get the odd one to work and that usually ends up here. But more often than not, I fail miserably at it. I don’t have the best of ovens for baking, which doesn’t help, but I’ve always seen baking as a precise science and cooking as more arts & sciences. I’ve gotten a bit of a knack for cooking, but baking eludes me nine times out of ten. Unless it’s “fool proof”, forget it.

But this is one thing I do relatively well, so I thought I’d share. Continue reading

Easy Friday Night Meal: open-face hot chicken sammies

A plate holds a couple of open-faced hot chicken sandwiches on hamburg bun halves.Friday night used to mean ‘big meal night’, but with hubby’s shifts being changed a year ago, he has to work Friday night, which leaves me to eat by myself. I don’t mind! This is how it is all week. Occasionally, I’ll make a big meal up but mostly I just fend for myself and do up a big meal the next night when we can share it together.

Tonight, I was craving comfort food, again. In truth, I was craving poutine, but that wasn’t going to happen tonight. But I had some chicken breasts cut up into small bite sized pieces in the fridge that just needed to be cooked up and I had an inspiration. This one doesn’t even deserve a recipe, it’s so simple.

I just quickly fried up the chicken pieces in a little bit of olive oil and butter, sprinkled with some sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Then I drained this really well. Meanwhile, as the chicken cooked, I quickly whipped up a Club House gravy packet. I could have just as easily pulled some leftover homemade gravy out of the freezer, but I was really hungry and couldn’t wait for it to thaw.

While all this cooked, I tossed two small hamburger buns into the toaster (if they were large, I would have just toasted one). All that was left was to assemble the hot chicken sandwiches. I made them into open-faced sandwiches, spooning the gravy over the chicken. Very filling. Very comforting. Very tasty! Next time, I’d probably cut back on one of the buns and make a salad on the side to balance it or make up some soup for a side to balance it better, or even just steam up some asparagus. But I am now content. 🙂

I’d be interested in hearing what others do for Friday nights, especially if they spend it alone. If you make a healthy meal, good for you (please share)! If you order in, what’s your go-to food? Or if you go for a good comforting meal, please share! I want to hear what everyone’s favourite ‘fall back’ meals are, when they’re just cooking for themselves or curling up for a quiet night! What’s quick and simple for you?