As a follow up to my Lazy Sunday Afternoon Barbecue Chicken, I wanted to share with all of you some of my favorite things to do with those leftovers that sit begging to be used.
I am the type of cook who simply does not rest. I love to constantly push the boundaries and test myself to create on the spot, easy recipes (also the reason why I have a ridiculously full refrigerator...I mean, you never know when you might need that little bit of tamarind paste). Therefore, leftovers are a great challenge, and I tend to make it my personal mission, not only to create them, but then to use them up.
This was really the objective of the original article about grilling chickens. I wanted people to fill their fridges for the week, much like we do around Thanksgiving, when just about everyone is walking around with turkey sandwiches. Chicken sandwiches are obvious and easy, but so is chicken salad if you have a simple recipe in your hand or head. I decided that the grilled chicken would give the chicken salad quite a nice smoky flavor and right away I knew that I wanted to balance that out with some natural sweetness. I had apples in my fridge and some fennel from the farmers market. Perfect. The rest is all very standard for chicken salad.
Summer barbecue chicken salad
- 1/2 c mayo
- 1T mustard (sgt homemade mustard recipe)
- 1T balsamic vinegar
- pinch salt
- basil, oregano, and/or tarragon
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1/2 apple, diced
- handful of diced green or sweet onion
- handful thinly sliced fennel bulb
- 2c (give or take) chopped leftover chicken
--Combine all, serve on bread, crackers, greens, etc.
The other inspiration was based on an idea I hinted at in the first article: Hashbrowns. Because I tend to throw on a whole pile of potatoes while I am grilling a chicken or two, the next morning I have grilled potatoes perfect for shredding. Shred them up, get a cast iron pan or griddle hot and well oiled and make yourself some easy, tasty hashbrowns. The keys to crispy hashbrowns are pre-cooked potatoes (quicker to cook and should have a much lower water content) and plenty of oil. In watching so many diners prepare their hashbrowns I learned that the griddle is always hot and greasy. Then, they often add more oil directly to the hashbrowns once they are placed on the grill. Think of them as tiny little french fries and the preparation begins to make more sense (at least to me...).
To accompany your hashbrowns, I created a morning gravy using some of the leftover barbecued chicken. Again, the smokiness is wonderful. I served this gravy on biscuits (from the Immaculate Baking Co. whose biscuit dough comes in a can...but hey, you can only be so motivated some mornings) and with a couple of fried eggs on top.
Barbecued chicken gravy
1/2 stick butter (some folks like to use a little bacon fat too)
1 small-med onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic or 3-4 garlic scapes
2 c mushrooms, sliced
--saute the above over med-low heat until well cooked and even beginning to caramelize.
1c italian parsley, chopped
2c chicken broth (if saved from grilling process, the broth will most likely add more smokiness)
--I add the parsley and about 1/2 c of the broth at some point during the above saute. Don't let the sauteing vegetables dry out.
--while the above is sauteing, whisk about 1/4 c flour with 3/4 c of the above chicken broth. add this and any remaining broth, 2 c chopped leftover chicken and 1c heavy whipping cream to the pan.
--ensure that burner is on a nice med-low setting and allow to simmer until just beginning to thicken. turn off and let cool just a bit before serving.
This keeps well in the fridge, but will thicken considerably. Reheat gently on the stove top and add some water or milk if necessary.
Don't forget to use your leftover chicken in burritos, enchiladas, indian foods, soups and stir fries! Plus, let us know what you do with your leftover chicken! Enjoy.