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5 things to do with leftover roasted chicken: Do more with less

Categories: Frugal Living, Hacking Life, Making Time, The Juggle, do more with less


Even though I love to cook, there are definitely days when I feel all cooked out — when the very thought of planning and thawing and cooking makes me not want to eat for a week. Makes me look at my kids and ask, “Didn’t I feed you earlier? What do you mean you want dinner now?”

We deal with some food allergies at our house, so stopping off and picking up a pizza or fast-food isn’t an option. But roasting an extra chicken and stashing it, in advance, in pieces, in the freezer, is. If you’re more gastrointestinally normal than we are, you can pick up a supermarket-roasted chicken on your way home instead. Either way, once you have that bird in hand, you have plenty of options. Here are five things you can do with leftover roasted chicken.

First, pick the meat off the bones. Then assess your stress and energy levels and do any of the following:

1.) Lots of effort: Make soup from the bones, add some shredded meat and veggies, serve with crusty bread.

2.) Less effort: Layer thin slices of chicken on mayonnaise-slathered sourdough bread with crisp bacon, lettuce, and fresh sliced tomatoes. Serve with fries or chips.

3.) Even less effort: Shred the meat. Douse with your favorite BBQ sauce, serve on buttered buns with pickles and coleslaw.

4.) Minimal effort: Heat a flour or corn tortilla in a pan; top with shredded colby-jack cheese, slivers of jalapenos, and shredded chicken. Cover with another tortilla and heat until the cheese melts. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa for dipping.

5.) No effort: Toss the chopped chicken with a little mayo and call it chicken salad. Or add a chopped apple, a handful of dried cranberries, a little diced celery, and about a 1/2 teaspoon of herbs de Provence and call it sal-ahd. Serve with whatever bread or crackers you have on hand, or just eat it out of the bowl with a spoon.

Share your secrets: What do you make with leftover chicken?

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7 comments so far...

  • Oh wow. Its Yom Kippur, and I’m probably supposed to be doing something more religious than blog reading, but you gotta kill time between services somehow. I’ve been fasting all day AND THIS IS THE WORST POST TO COME ACROSS WHILE YOU HAVENT EATEN AND CANT UNTIL MANY HOURS LATER!!!

    : )

    Jillian  |  October 9th, 2008 at 4:15 pm

  • Sal-ahd made me laugh out loud. This is actually a really good idea adn I can’t believe I never thought of it before. This would be a great option for those nights when I get home and the thought of cooking dinner is more than I can handle.

    Leandra  |  October 10th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

  • These recipes are right on time. I also make these — chicken fried rice, or throw the chicken in with peppers and spices for fajitas… I love cooking when it’s cold out! :-)

    BlapherMJ  |  October 11th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

  • [...] add it to prepared broth by the handful. If you add too much, call it porridge. No? Fine… make some chicken soup and add just enough so that you can call it chicken soup with rice (singing the song is [...]

    Leftover cooked rice: Do more with less - The 36-Hour Day - Work It, Mom!  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 12:08 am

  • idea,
    shreded left over chicken
    eggs *2
    sweet chilli sauce
    teaspoon of oil
    herbs basil and rosemary

    cook like you would spagbol and its quite nice

    josh  |  November 2nd, 2008 at 2:10 am

  • [...] what you don’t eat — namely, the bones and, for some people, the leftovers. My tips on transforming a roast chicken apply perfectly well to turkey; use up every bit of that [...]

    Thanksgiving on a budget: Do more with less - The 36-Hour Day - Work It, Mom!  |  November 19th, 2008 at 12:07 am

  • [...] already talked about the many things you can do with a leftover turkey — fine, roast chicken is similar. You can transform it into soup, or salad, or an overstuffed [...]

    Lots of leftovers? Do more with less - The 36-Hour Day - Work It, Mom!  |  November 26th, 2008 at 12:01 am