Transformations

Leftovers have been so maligned that the very word is unappetizing.

The problem is that some dishes just don’t lend themselves to a simple re-heating. Case in point is roast chicken. So yummy when it comes hot out of the oven. But try and heat it up and it will dry out and acquire the texture of cotton batting long before it’s hot enough to eat. In these cases, it’s better to consider the leftover as a potential ingredient in a whole new dish.

I made roast chicken (in pieces, but a whole chicken would afford the same opportunity) on Saturday night and then transformed it into Chicken Chili on Sunday night. I made a few modifications to this recipe:

  1. I used pinto instead of kidney beans (Strangely the recipe doesn’t specify the amount of kidney beans. I think anything in the 15 to 19-ounce can range will be fine.)
  2. I didn’t want to open a whole quart of organic chicken broth of 1/2 a cup worth, so I used a 5.5 ounce can of tomato juice.
  3. I let it simmer for 45 minutes. I’m sure it would have been fine after
    a few minutes. Of course I think it will likely taste even better
    tomorrow.
  4. I didn’t measure the chili powder. I just sprinkled and then tasted. You could easily make this more or less spicy by dialing up or down on the amount of chili powder. If you really don’t like spicy, omit the jalapeno. If you love spicy, consider adding a few extra jalapenos.

It helps that I love chili of all kinds, but this was really, really good. I’m definitely adding it to the regular repertoire.

Chicken Sauteed with Shallots

I love FreshDirect.  I love everything about it: the yummy food, the convenience, the fun, easy-to-navigate site.

Recently they added a new feature: One-Click Recipes.  This is just a brilliant innovation.  Hundreds of great recipes that are easy to search.  And, of course, the best part — with a single click you can add all the needed ingredients into your shopping cart.  The technology is smart, too — they have separated out the pantry items (salt, olive oil, rice, and so on) so that you can order them only if you need them.  As someone who once help build a Recipe Finder, I know that this is all a lot harder than it looks. 

Best of all, I found a new favorite dish: Chicken Sauteed with Shallots from Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells.  Yum, yum, yum.  It’s easy to make and very delicious.  Plus, it involves actual fire, which, as I noted previously, is something I really like while cooking.  Unlike that earlier recipe, this one involved actual flames which need to be transferred from one pan to the next.  Talk about drama!

The first time I made it i used fresh tomatoes, which requires peeling and seeding.  I’m lazy by nature, so I decided to try it with canned tomatoes.  Unless you are growing your tomatoes in the backyard I say grab a can of Muir Glen.  My only mistake was I should have drained them — the sauce was a touch watery this time around.

Stay tuned.  I definitely plan to do more One-Clicking very soon …

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