Why does every recipe gotsta be for an army? When cooking for a dynamic duo, Even the pre-packaged chicken breasts assume that you like chicken enough to have seconds or you are dying for a repeat poultry performance. In my quest for domestic bliss (and after getting the fast food luvin’s scared out of me by watching this video featuring St. Louis nutrition lady Julia Havey), I have taken up the whisk and abused my pots and pans every evening making dinner for the Mister and I. Even cutting recipes in half I end up with leftovers. I.hate.leftovers.
Lately I have been trying to make peace with the tupperware containers that taunt me from my fridge though, and instead of reheating and repeating I have been using those hangers-on to make something a little different the next night. I thought I would share my latest leftover conversion because these two recipes have become favorites at Chez Meiners.
Night One: Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken (adapted from the Taste of Home Cookbook)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I get the grass fed, happy chickens from a local granola-head store)
3 tbsp of sweet cream butter, melted (Be careful! This crap scalds your feet when dropped – I promise)
1 1/2 cloves minced garlic (I upped the garlic ’cause I am afraid of vampires)
2 tbsp lemon juice (I also have used one half of a fresh squeezed lemon ’cause I roll like that)
1/4 tsp course ground black pepper (or you can use about four cell turns of fresh ground black pepper)
1/2 tsp course sea salt (important note: table salt makes this waayyyyy to salty, trust me)
1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
Pour yourself a glass of Evolution 9 while preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Combine melted butter, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon in one bowl. Put the breadcrumbs in another. Dreg the chicken breasts in the butter, then through the breadcrumbs and place in an ungreased, shallow, ceramic casserole baking dish. Pour any remaining buttery goodness over the chicken breasts and pop those suckers in the oven. Let them bake for 25-30 minutes. Drink the rest of the wine and watch an episode of Weeds. Eat two of them for dinner and put the other two chicken breasts in the fridge for tomorrow.
Night Two: Honey Mustard Chicken Salad (adapted from Rachel Ray’s 2,4,6,8 Cookbook)
1 tbsp of honey (gah, I love honey, and that bear is so cute!)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar (I highly recommend adding this to your mashed ‘taters, too!)
1 cup of chopped pecans (walnuts have been tried without success, there is just something about pecans)
1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 heafty handfuls of mixed greens
2 leftover chicken breasts from last night
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and pour yourself a pour a glass of chardonnay. Put the pecans on a cookie sheet and let them bake for 10 minutes. While the pecans are baking mix the honey, mustard and white wine vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper with a whisk in a small bowl – do not rest the whisk on the side of the bowl when you are done ’cause that schnitz is going to pour all over the counter. Slowly add the olive oil (I refuse to call it EVOO under any curcumstances) in a slow and steady stream while whisking. Put the greens in a larger plastic bowl that has a lid, add the pecans while still warm, and add the dressing. Pop that lid on there and do a little mixing dance in the kitchen (music is optional). Place that salad in a bowl and slice up the cold chicken breast and put it on top. Eat, drink and be merry – you just recycled your leftovers!
No, I don’t have any pictures of this wonderousness; I get too hungry to make a picture all nice like and plus I am a super messy cook. No cooking shows for me, and I am completely comfortable with that. Bon Appetite or something French!
PS – if you are digging that adorable chef’s hat, check out UCreate to find a tutorial on how to make one yourself!