Every once in a while, I like to cook up a roasted chicken for supper. It’s healthy, versatile, and easy. One problem I’ve found, however, is that I always have tons of leftovers. I’m cooking for two in our house and no matter how small the chicken is, I wonder what to do with the rest. So, here’s my top tip for using up a roasted chicken that winds up saving us money: Use your chicken in four ways.
1. Roasted chicken: Yesterday, I roasted a whole chicken for dinner and whipped up a simple marsala sauce to go with it. I typically use Cucina Povera: Tuscan Peasant Cooking’s recipe for Chicken with Vin Santo Sauce.
2. Leftover shredded chicken in casseroles, salads, or sandwiches: This morning I chopped up the rest of the chicken and put it in a Tupperware container in the fridge. For us, this will go into my mom’s chicken tetrazzini recipe. You could also use this to top a salad, make a sandwich, wrap, or do whatever your little heart desires. Sometimes I’ll toss the shredded chicken with BBQ sauce, caramelize some onions, and throw everything onto a hoagie. YUM!
3. Chicken stock: I often plan chicken dinners just because I want to make a stock afterward. If you’ve ever been intimidated to make this on your own or think it’ll be difficult: think again. It is so easy, and absolutely worth it. The best risottos and bolognese sauces I have ever made always use homemade stock. I follow Bobby Flay’s Rich Chicken Stock Recipe. Our pantry always has a few containers of chicken stock, each of which cost me $2-$4. By making this stock, I’m saving myself a nice chunk of change. Every little bit counts, right?
4. Use your stock as the base for soup or risotto: For us, this is always risotto. It’s one of my favorite meals to prepare because it’s elegant, easy, and you can get creative with the types of vegetables you put in it. Yes, it’s a bit more time consuming because you constantly have to stir it, but I find it therapeutic and enjoy making it. My favorite type of risotto to make is a mushroom and truffle risotto, but since we no longer live near a store where we can pick up white truffles (We used to stop by Eataly to pick them up, along with imported Italian pasta), I’ve fallen back on the truffle oil they sell in Whole Foods. It still tastes good, but isn’t actually made with truffles, and I like to keep things authentic when I can. Another favorite recipe is Marcella Hazan’s Spring Vegetable Risotto with Tomato and Basil.
So, hopefully this gets the creative juices flowing. How do you use up your leftover chicken?