How do you put together a meal, sign school forms and change the channel all at the same time? The answer is simple: heat up leftovers + get someone else to manage the TV remote (what are the odds I’d get control of it anyway?).
With three crazy nights of the week where we need to arrive home from school/work, eat and be out the door in less than 30 minutes, leftovers have become my best friend.
Now that September is in full swing, you’ll find me cooking in bulk on the weekends and freezing the leftovers for one of these crazy nights, or making a Sunday night dinner that will provide the key ingredients for a second meal. I’ve been doing this for ages, but I recently discovered a great blog written by Saskia called 1=2. Saskia’s site is brilliant, with every post delivering on this life-saving concept of making a meal and planning for leftovers to prepare a second meal. (Be sure to check out Saskia’s site for some great 1=2 ideas.)
A roasted chicken is the perfect start to a two-for-one meal, as there are just so many meals that you can make with leftover chicken. One of my favourite ways to roast or grill a chicken is to spatchcock it. Before you get any ideas, you should know that this simply means to butterfly a chicken, or to take out the backbone and flatten it. The key benefit is that the chicken cooks faster and more evenly than when it is left in tact. Apparently, spatchcock is the traditional word for the French term “poussin”, which means a young chicken. Years ago, these little chickens were frequently butterflied for faster cooking, and eventually flattened chickens were called spatchcocks.
Often I’ll make a simple chicken pot pie with leftover chicken, or a chicken and brocolli quiche. Sometimes I just add barbeque sauce and serve the tangy leftover chicken with mashed potatoes (preferably leftovers also) and vegetables. I recently used my leftover chicken and corn (from a Sunday night dinner) to make Avocado-Corn Chowder with Grilled Chicken, which comes together in about 10 minutes using leftovers.
If you have some good recipes on how to use leftover chicken, please be sure to share as I see many more crazy nights in my future! How about you?
Lemon and Herbes de Provence Spatchcocked Chicken
- 4 lb chicken, spatchcocked
- 2 lemons: zest one and slice the other
- 2 to 3 tsp herbs de provence
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse and thoroughly dry the chicken.
Breast side up, carefully separate the skin from the bird, taking care not to rip the skin. Insert two slices of lemon between the skin and the flesh on each half of the bird.
Using a pastry brush, coat the outside skin of the bird with the olive oil. Sprinkle the coated chicken with herbes de provence, lemon zest and salt & pepper to taste.
To Grill: Cook on a preheated barbeque for 45 to 50 minutes until internal termperature reads 180°.
To Roast in the Oven: Preheat oven to 425°. Place prepared chicken (spatchcocked, seasoned and stuffed with lemon as above) breast side up in a greased baking dish. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until internal temperature reads 180°. NOTE: When roasting, I like to use butter rather than oil to coat the chicken. I also like to mix a couple of teaspoons of butter with some fresh chopped parsley, thyme and rosemary and slip this between the skin and the flesh of the bird. This doesn’t work well when barbequing, as the butter drips on to the grill and catches fire.
Avocado-Corn Chowder with Grilled Chicken
For the orignial recipe, click here.
- I reduced the water to 1 cup, as I find 1½ cups too watery and I reduced the orange juice to 1/3 cup rather than ½ cup.
- Using left-over grilled chicken eliminates the need to follow the directions for cooking the chicken.
- I used a couple pinches of crushed red pepper rather than ¼ tsp of ground red pepper.
- I also omitted the chopped red pepper.
“This is the perfect summer meal!”
That is the way several friends have described the casual fare at our recent summer get-togethers. I’ve been serving a couple different salads along side some type of grilled meat or burgers at each of our summer barbeques. Salads are a great way to take in all the wonderful fresh flavours of summer and they help to ensure that you still have room for dessert!
I’m going to share some of my favourite summer salads over the next couple of weeks. As it’s the time of year when we are on the go–exploring cottage country and catching up with friends as much as possible–I’m going to be short and sweet in my posts.
So, getting straight to the point, here’s the salad that I made almost every weekend last year. It’s as flavourful as it is colourful–and if the truth be told, I could eat the entire bowl. I highly recommend this salad. I must warn you though, if you tell people that this is succotash, your guests may start to quote Sylvester the Cat (“Sufferin’ Succotash!”).
Adapted from In My Mother’s Kitchen by Trish Magwood
- Juice of 1 lime
- 4 ears of corn, cooked
- 1 sweet red pepper, diced
- ¼ red onion, diced
- 1 ½ green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cups halved grape tomatoes
- 1 cup shelled edamame, blanched and cooled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 avocado, cubed
Cut the corn off the cob. Add red pepper, red onion, green onions, tomatoes, edamame, olive oil, salt and lime juice. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Add avocado just before serving.
- To prepare the corn, I put the husked corn in a large pot, bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and boil for five minutes. The original recipe included instructions to mix together the zest of one lime, with a bit of melted butter and cayenne — then brush this on the corn before grilling on the barbeque. I’ve simplified this and I don’t think the salad loses any flavour in the process. You could certainly try this if you have the time.
- I’ve made this the same day in a pinch. It still tastes great.
- Buying frozen shelled edamame is a huge time saver. I always use the frozen and I don’t blanch it.