One of the nicest things about smoked chicken leftovers is that you can use it in some absolutely killer soups. This one is easy: Take a box of rice mix – this one uses Zatarain’s Long Grain and Wild Mix, add twice the water as the directions say and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover until the rice is done, stir in some chopped broccoli and continue to simmer until the veggie is tender, add a handful of diced chicken breast, stir in a generous handful of shredded cheddar, a splash of half & half, keep stirring until the cheese is fully melted. It’s good served right away, even better if you let it rest awhile, the rice will continue to plump – reheat just before serving, careful to keep the cheese from burning on the bottom.
I made this one using this Bon Appétit recipe, using my last jar of preserved lemons instead of fresh. It makes a good change of pace from the usual chicken dishes and it sure smells good while it’s simmering. Not the best presentation in the photo I took, should have taken one of Mrs J’s plate with the leg and thigh instead of the big lumps of breast meat. She won’t eat the white meat when the dark is available so I default to the breast portion.
Mrs J thought pizza would work for her dinner today. We had all that turkey from yesterday’s project so we went with that for a topping. White pizza sounded better with turkey than anything else so we went that route. I had good luck with the Prairie Gold flour the local Amish store carried so we went that way again, going half and half with white bread flour. The dough recipe is not too involved: 1 cup PG flour, 1 cup bread flour, 1 cup warm water, 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 packet of instant yeast (2-1/4 t). I let the bread machine make the dough while we made a trip to town.I like to brush the crust with olive oil but I had a little garlic butter left over so I warmed that, added a little oil, and brushed it on, sprinkling kosher salt after. I gave it another coat halfway through baking when I opened the oven to spin the pan 180. To a basic white sauce I added provolone and Parmesan, folded in blanched broccoli and cubed turkey meat and spread that over the crust, adding thin sliced red onions, more turkey, and a good sprinkle of Parmesan atop everything before sliding it into a 375 oven.
I wish I’d gone with the white bowl for this, I really thought there would be more contrast. This is a copycat recipe, as far as I know, nowhere does it indicate it’s an actual Panera recipe. I stayed right with the recipe as written except I added an extra handful of shredded Parmesan I had out for the garlic toast. I can say that it’s a damn good soup, we both gave it two thumbs up.I couldn’t resist making a sammich out of the leftovers.
I bought a bottle of sour orange juice so I could more closely replicate the mojo marinade needed for a proper roast pork Cubano sandwich. I haven’t done that yet, but a recipe for mojo marinated roast chicken caught my eye. A mojo sauce is mostly olive oil with garlic, citrus, and oregano. I used fresh oregano instead of dried in mine. The lemon and lime juices in the recipe are intended to get to the sour/bitter taste profile of the sour orange juice when sour orange isn’t available and regular orange juice is substituted. Lacking a rotisserie on my grill I used the beer can roaster gadget with good result.A recipe for Cuban style black beans and rice worked well and fit the general theme of the plate. I have no Idea if broccoli plays much part in the Cuban diet but I like it so I steamed some florets and gave them a squeeze of lemon. I picked the green pepper and a couple of sweet banana peppers from my container garden to make the bean dish. The addition of a splash of red wine vinegar to the beans right before serving them really made the dish. I never would have thought to do that but it works!
Mrs J called for pizza and because it’s been a while since we had a white pizza, this broccoli/chicken/roasted garlic pie was just perfect. I rolled some string cheese into the edge of it and made a sauce from Monterey jack and a basic white sauce. I added two heads of roasted garlic to the sauce and troweled it on then added the par-boiled broccoli and the grilled chicken breast. Brush some olive oil on the crust and add a good sprinkling of kosher salt. It spent about 17 minutes in a 350 oven while in the pizza pan but still wasn’t quite there. I managed to get it out of the pan and onto a peel without mishap for transfer to the pizza stone that pretty much lives on the bottom rack on my oven. I kicked the dial up to 500 and kept an eye on it, giving it an additional 5-7 minutes.A cheese crust seems like overkill, given the cheesy nature of the sauce but I find myself eating the crusts apart from the rest of the pizza, saving them for the last. They eat like a big soft pretzel – a cheese stuffed pretzel.I placed the uneaten slices back into the pan for flash freezing in the big box. When they’re frozen solid I’ll vacuum seal the slices, they make great lunches for Mrs J to haul with her to the shelter on her volunteer days.
This was going to be maple mustard glazed chicken but I used my leftover cranberry sauce instead of the mustard. It was a last minute call influenced by my extreme desire to not waste anything. I’ve been looking at the cranberries stuck way back there in the fridge ever since the holiday and decided now or never. The mustard will keep. It went down just like in the linked recipe. The chicken was juicy and tasty but I don’t know if I’d go with the maple syrup again. Honey would work. I have a big box of dried cherries and this is giving me ideas.