Chicken · Fast meal · freezer · main dish

Getting the Most Out of a Deli-Purchased Chicken

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When was the last time you went to the grocery store or Sam’s Club and picked up one of these rotisserie chickens from their deli? Recently a friend brought one to me at a busy time and it was such a blessing!

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They are usually about $5 and are a great easy, delicious meal straight from the container. You might slice the meat and serve:

Potato Salad
Green Beans
Salad

It’s a wonderful busy night dinner.

However, if there are only two or three, you’ll have leftovers, but probably not enough to serve slices of meat again.  What do you do with the remains without wasting it?  I have a couple of ideas to help you get the most out of that $5 bird! Last week when I had that chicken, here is all the ways that it provided for us –

Chicken Salad – If you have enough white meat left, you could mix up the ingredients for lunch tomorrow!  This made for a delicious lunch!
Add:

  • White meat Cubes
  • Grapes
  • Pecans
  • Celery
  • Dressing – I mix together
    • Mayo
    • A little sour cream
    • Cinnamon

Served on bread or crackers, it totally transforms a rotisserie chicken into a whole new meal.

Chicken Pot Pie – You can use white meat, dark meat or a combination of both. It only takes 1 1/2 Cups of chicken – or you could use 1 cup and add more veggies!

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I make a low-fat version of Chicken Pot pie that is equal to any high fat version!

Don’t be afraid to alter the vegetables to what your family likes.  Changing that will not change its deliciousness!

Crust:
1 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
4-5 Tbl cold water

Mix dry ingredients.  Use a pastry cutter or fork and cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Add water, 1 tbl at a time, until all dough is moistened.  Form dough into ball.

On a lightly floured surface, flatten the ball of dough with hands.  Roll dough into a 13 x 8 1/2 inch rectangle.  Cover pastry and set aside.

Filling:

1 cup slices fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (or more) chicken broth
1 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp dried sage, marjoram, or thyme (thyme is my favorite!)
1/8 tsp pepper
1 10-oz package frozen peas & carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

Spray a cold medium saucepan with nonstick coating.  Add mushroom and onion.  cook and stir over medium heat about 4 minutes or till the onion is tender but not brown.

Meanwhile reserve 1 tbl of the milk. Set aside.  In a small mixing bowl gradually stir the remaining milk into the flour till smooth.  Stir into vegetable mixture in the saucepan.  Stir in the water, bouillon granules, sage, marjoram or thyme: and pepper.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Stir int he frozen peas and carrots and chicken.

Transfer mixture to a 12 x 7 1/2 x 2 inch baking dish.  Place pastry over chicken mixture.  Fold under edges.  Crimp edges of pastry with a fork.  Brush pastry with reserved milk.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or till the chicken mixture is heated through and the pastry is golden brown.  Makes 5 servings.

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This pie is so good, friends!  You could even assemble it and pop it into the freezer for another day!

Now, at this point I had stripped most all of the meat off the carcass.  Was it ready for the garbage?  No!  DON’T THROW THAT CARCASS IN THE TRASH CAN YET!!  There’s one more GREAT WAY to use that chicken!

Chicken Stock – No need to purchase cans or boxes of this in the store if you have a chicken carcass in your fridge!

Here’s the recipe and method I use to make chicken stock. Let me add one more thought – I have learned that it’s even easier to make it in the crock pot so I don’t have to babysit it.  I do the very same thing, only pop it into the crock pot and cook it all day long.  The house smells amazing and I have about 8-10 cups of chicken stock when it’s finished! Look how rich that broth is!

chicken broth

I pour it into small baggies, then put them in a large Ziplock bag and freeze them.

You could also just cube the meat off and freeze it in small freezer bags ready for soup, enchiladas or quesadillas, 

The possibilities are endless, and also so convenient because the chicken is already cooked.  You know, you might even consider buying TWO rotisserie chickens just so you can make so many great meals so easily!

When was the last time you enjoyed a rotisserie chicken?  What else do you do with yours?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

 

breakfast · Fast meal · Make-Ahead

Breakfast That is “Love In a Jar”

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Yep, you read that right – love in a jar!  That quote came from my husband when I fixed these cute little Instant Oatmeal Jars to have ready for his breakfast.  He LOVES a good bowl of hot oatmeal with fruit and a handful of nuts.

Our morning routines find my husband downstairs with coffee and Bible, and me upstairs.  Because of this, he often starts our breakfast.  This winter he had gotten really proficient at making up a couple of servings of oatmeal for us to have each morning!  That is saying a lot for a guy who only feels confident enough to make about three things – Scrambled eggs, French toast and …okay, make that two!  Though he’d learned the simple art of cooking the Quick oats, I thought I’d make it even a little easier without purchasing those nasty packets of Instant Oatmeal.

Here was the result: Instant Oatmeal Jars

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The blessing of having the jars already filled is that there’s no measuring or finding a pan or the additives.  Just open a jar, add a cup of boiling water and let it set for 4-5 minutes.  Voila!  It’s done!  You can be as creative with flavors and additions as your taste buds allow.  I made up several jars and have them in the pantry ready for any morning we’re hungry for oatmeal!

Here’s how I made mine:

Instant Oatmeal Jars

1/2 C Quick cooking oats
1 Tbl Craisins
1Tbl Chopped nuts
Dash of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl brown sugar

Keep in a tightly closed jar until ready to use!

When ready to use:

  1. Add 1 cup boiling water (you could use milk instead) to the jar.
  2. Stir.
  3. Replace lid and let set for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add other fresh fruits as desired. Eat!

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Here is the process in pictures:
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Oatmeal

4.

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We love blueberries, bananas and/or strawberries in our oatmeal!

This would make a great breakfast for a busy morning!  You could take the jar out the door with you, if needed.  Everything is contained and could be sealed back up when empty!

The first morning my husband had his “jar of oatmeal,” he sent me a text while I was getting ready upstairs.  It read,

“Now that’s love in a jar right there!”


That made me smile!! I’m on the lookout for freeze-dried fruits to add to my next batches.  I wonder what he’ll say about that?! I can’t wait to hear!

What would you add to a jar of oatmeal?  Peanut butter?  Coconut?  I’d love to hear!

Denise Signature 150 px

Fast meal · freezer · Main dish.

Hamburger Casserole – Better Than the Boxed Version!

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I plan for my weekly meals but there are times when life happens and it’s getting to be near supper time and I realize that I don’t have any clue what we’re going to eat in an hour!  Every find yourself there?

Such was the case a couple of weeks ago.  I’d been helping with some projects at my daughter’s house, and didn’t think I’d be gone as long as I was.  When I got home, my wheels were turning as to what I could whip together for supper in a hurry.  I knew what basic ingredients I had on hand, so I set to finding a recipe that would include something with those staples.

I opened one of my old cookbooks and came across this great Hamburger Casserole that I hadn’t made in years.  I only made one tweak, due to not having something the recipe called for, but it was a great substitute.  My husband raved and raved about how good this was!  Bless him!  It really reminded me of the Hamburger Helper Casserole you buy in the store, only this was waaaay better!

Also, Kroger had offered for their Free Friday Download a bag of Barilla’s noodles that are pre-cooked.  All you do is steam them in the microwave for about 3 minutes!  Having those on hand really sped up this supper meal!  I will definitely be keeping those on hand for a fast dinner!

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Here’s the recipe:

Hamburger-Sour Cream Casserole

1 lb hamburger
1 onion, chopped
1/4 green pepper, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 12 oz. can corn, drained – (I used frozen)
3 cups cooked noodles
1 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 3 oz. can chow mein noodles – (I used buttered Panko crumbs instead and think I’ll always use those!)

In a skillet combine meat, onions, and pepper and brown slowly; drain fat.  Add all ingredients except chow mein noodles.  Place in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and top with chow mein noodles.  Bake, uncovered for 25-3- minutes at 350 degrees.  Freezes well, but do not put chow mein noodles on top until ready to bake.

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I added cottage cheese with home canned peaches on top as a side, and it was a satisfying meal – even without planning ahead!

It’s wise if you can, to always keep staple items on hand for days like this.  That might include:

  • Ground beef
  • Cooked chicken breast
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Cream soups
  • Canned Salmon and Tuna
  • Bread crumbs – I love Panko for crunch
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned fruits

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This recipe is a keeper.  Men usually go for dishes like this.  Why don’t you try it out on your fella soon?

What do you try to keep on hand for quick meals?

Denise Signature 150 px