Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chicken and its Many Uses

Rosemary Chicken, braised brussel sprouts and carrots, and low fat mashed potatoes

I consider myself to be a flexitarian. I eat chicken, turkey and all fish. I stay away from pork and beef. My reasons for staying away from pork and beef are two-fold: 1) I don't like the taste of pork and beef and never have, 2) Beef and pork, in general, are not great for you. I see nothing wrong with having it in moderation, because if you love it, you shouldn't deprive yourself. If someone told me that I couldn't have delicious desserts anymore, that would be a serious problem-and I can guarantee you that I wouldn't listen.

Skinless, boneless chicken is versatile to cook with, great for leftovers, and good for you. It's packed with protein, very low in fat as compared with other meats, a good source of niacin, B-6, B-12, vitamin D, iron,and zinc which are all essential to maintain a healthy body. For those of us who would like to slow down the aging process, trance mineral selenium is an anti-aging component found in chicken as well.

One of the many ways that I like my chicken is marinated and then grilled, either outdoor grill or a grill pan. I usually grill 6 chicken breasts. As a family of three, we will eat two and a half to three chicken breasts for dinner. The rest will be for leftovers. Oh, how I love leftovers.

I had a lot of rosemary from my herb garden that I needed to use so this is what I did:

  • the juice of two lemons
  • a large handful of finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 2 tbs of smoked paprika (if you can't find smoked, sweet is okay)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic

Whisk ingredients together and toss with 6 breasts of chicken in a large ziplock bag or plastic container for 3 hours to overnight.

Grill at least twice as much chicken as you will need in one meal. You can use the leftover chicken for so many more uses in the next few days. This will save time, money, and guarantee you that you won't be calling for take-out or heading to the nearest fast food restaurant.

These are some of my favorite ways to use leftover chicken:
  1. thinly sliced chicken on top of a big salad with all my favorites
  2. chopped up and stuffed in a whole wheat pita pocket with some lettuce, tomato and Dijon mustard (perfect for work)
  3. thrown in the food processor and make a quick chicken salad for sammies or on top a salad
  4. chopped up and use for soft tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas (Grant loves chicken quesadillas)
  5. chopped up and used in a chicken pot pie
  6. add to a soup
  7. heated up and added to a pasta dish
What are your favorite ways to use leftover chicken? 

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