A little extra work goes a long way: Pesto-Stuffed Chicken Sandwiches

Pesto stuffed chicken sandwich on a six inch whole wheat sub bun

Every now and then, I crave a good sandwich. But since I’ve pretty much sworn off of most deli meats due to the high sodium levels, I’ve not had many sandwiches as of late. We had some chicken in the fridge a couple of weeks ago, so I looked in the cupboards to see what I could do. I could just make a sliced chicken sandwich, a grilled cheese with chicken on it or even a chicken salad sandwich, but I’m not a huge fan of that last one, either. But all of these had me thinking, “Ho, hum, boring.”

Even a Chicken Club sandwich wasn’t giving me much excitement.

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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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Tomato soup that doubles as sauce!

Tomato soup over egg noodles with a slice of brie cheese on top and some parsley, in a green earthenware bowl.Tonight, I had a hankering for tomato soup. Not that over-pureed gunk out of a can, but a nice, homemade soup with a bit of texture to it. Apologies to those who are fans of the stuff out of cans; I’m not a lover, I fear.

As soon as I got home, I started pulling ingredients out of cupboards and the fridge, seeing if I had all the ingredients.

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Pistachios — not just for snacks anymore?

Spaghetti with pistachio nuts, pesto, red peppers & fresh tomato.Tonight, I wanted something different. I wanted pasta, but not the usual ‘red or white’ sauce. In fact, I had Alfredo cheese tortellini on the weekend, so I really didn’t want more of the same. I recalled that I had some basil pesto in the cupboard and started rummaging around the kitchen. Stumbling across an unopened bag of pistachio nuts, I went into the living room to ponder the possibilities and have a little snack.

That’s when I got distracted by tv.  Before I knew it,  I had shelled the entire bag and only eaten a couple of the nuts. I could save most of them for snacks for the rest  of the week, but I really wanted to find something creative to do with them. I recalled that pesto sauce is made with oil,  herbs and chopped nuts  (usually pine nuts), so I decided I would use the jarred pesto, but I’d also chop up some of the pistachios and put  them  to good use! I also dredged up some onion, minced garlic, a red pepper, green onion that needed using up and a fresh tomato. I topped the whole thing  off with the green onion, chopped fresh tomato and a few French’s fried onions.