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Posts Tagged ‘healthy chicken dishes’

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Since there are just two of us when I roast a chicken I am faced with quite a lot of leftovers which translates to extra meals without a lot of cooking.  My first go-to is a chicken club sandwich – Steve, my dear husband is a lover of sandwich dinners.  At this time of the year the sandwich is not quite as delicious as it is in the summer with ripe juicy tomatoes on hand, but I chop up some of those sweet Sun Gold cherry tomatoes and they do the job quite nicely.

Even after making our sandwiches, there is still meat on the bones so I put the meaty carcass in a pot with cold water, onion, carrot, celery stalk (if I have it), herbs, and any leftover chicken stock or “jus” I have and simmer up a rich, chickeny broth.  I strain it, discarding everything but any meat floating about and the carcass.  I pull off the meat left on the bones and make a soup that will be dinner one night and a couple of lunches during the week.  For this particular broth, I added some diced carrots and onions along with a bag of chopped organic kale that was lurking in the freezer and some terrific Italian pasta from a brand called Rummo, a family-owned company in Campagna, Italy.  The pasta is what made the soup – it is extremely flavorful and stays al dente so you get that wonderful chewiness that great dried pasta reflects.  I was introduced to this brand by Rita, one of my favorite Italian baristas.  Although I haven’t seen this brand in many stores, Rita purchases it somewhere uptown in Manhattan.  I went on line and checked its availability and found an old review from New York Magazine where 3 NYC chefs rated it extremely low.  I can only assume that the company has changed its process because there is no way I’d rate it at the bottom of a list of dried pastas.  I find it has great flavor and cooks to the perfect “al dente” texture.

 

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Some years ago – perhaps with the advance of “upscale” Italian restaurants – everyone was cooking chicken under a brick (or pollo al mattone as Tuscan’s call it).  It became so popular that it was no longer cooked under a brick, but under a heavy cast iron implement made specifically for the job.  Traditionally, the chicken is not split into 2 pieces, it is simply opened up by cutting out the back bone.  But I prefer to cut it in half for quicker and easier cooking.  I use Cornish game hens as even a half of those little guys is more than I can eat.  I cut out the back bone and split the bird in half along the breast; then, I marinate for about 30 minutes in some olive oil, lemon zest, herbs (usually rosemary and oregano, but you can use whatever you have on hand), and just a little lemon juice.  I put my grill pan on high heat and when it is glowing I quickly season with a good dose of salt and pepper and pop the meat in, skin side down, top with my cast iron “brick” and wait a few minutes until they get nice and golden brown and crusty.  Give them a turn, cover again, and in another few minutes we sit down to moist, lemony chicken with crisp, salty skin.

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