One Chicken, Two Dinners

Something slightly different today: two recipes each made using up half of a leftover rotisserie chicken. I love having these types of leftovers and while it may seem a bit extravagant to buy, say, two rotisserie chickens instead of one think of all the extra meals you can make out of it. And if you prefer to roast your own, why not cook two birds together at the same time instead of just one?  It’s about the same amount of work.

A better chicken noole soup

A better chicken noole soup

A Better Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a hearty and dare I say healthy and satisfying meal – and so much better than anything out of a can. You could use any vegetables you have on hand; I used onion, carrot, leeks and mushrooms that were firstly gently sauteed then simmered with wide noodles in a tasty broth. You will need:

• Olive oil

• Vidalia sweet onion, ½ large, peeled & chopped

• Fresh Thyme, 2 -3 sprigs or 1 tablespoon dried

• Large carrot, 1, peeled and sliced on the diagonal

• Leeks, white part only, 2, sliced crosswise

• Crimini mushrooms, peeled & thinly sliced, 3-4

• Chicken broth, 4 cups

• Pappardelle noodles, 4 nests

• Leftover cooked chicken, white & dark meat (from ½ bird)

• Green Peas (I used Green Giant Sweetlets)

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot then add the chopped onion, salt and pepper and the leaves from 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme if you have it on hand, if not use a tablespoon of dried (preferably organic*) and cook gently over low heat for about ten minutes.

Add the carrot, leek and mushrooms and continue to cook for about another 10 minutes.

Add the broth and bring to a boil; add the noodles and continue to cook at a rolling boil for the length of time suggested for the pasta (6 minutes for the pappardelle noodles I used).

Reduce the heat slightly, add in the chicken meat, roughly shredded, and a handful of frozen peas and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the chicken is heated through.

Ladle into bowls and enjoy.

* Organic herbs are initially a bit expensive to buy but the taste is so much better that it’s worth it, especially during winter when fresh herbs are not so readily available.

Vegan option: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and substitute canned chick peas for the leftover chicken and you have an equally delicious meal in minutes.

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

A different sort of sandwich – chicken meat is combined with sautéed onion and barbecue sauce then layered instead flour tortillas with grated Monterey Jack cheese. The barbecue sauce adds a wonderful depth of flavour without you having to spend hours building it yourself.

And to make it easier to serve, I’ve filled each tortilla and cut it in half rather than laying one on top of the other and cutting into quarters which is more traditional but more of a mess. You will need:

• Vidalia sweet onion, ½ large, peeled and chopped

• Olive oil

• Leftover cooked chicken, white and dark meat (from ½ bird)

• Barbecue sauce (I used Bullseye Original)

• Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeños

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Note: If you are using leftover chicken from the fridge, allow it to come up to room temperature for about half an hour before you make the sandwiches.

In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil then gently sauté the onion for about ten minutes, being careful not to brown. Put the cooked onion into a bowl.

Add the shredded chicken meat and about 2-3 tablespoons of good quality barbecue sauce and mix together gently.

Lay two large flour tortillas on a non-stick baking sheet and lightly brush each one with olive oil; turn the tortillas oil side down on the sheet.

Spoon half of the onion/chicken mixture onto half of each tortilla, top with a generous handful of grated cheese, fold over the tortilla.

Place into the oven for about 15 minutes or until the tortillas are crisp and the cheese is bubbly and melted. Let sit for a minute or two before cutting in half with a very sharp knife or a pizza cutter.

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