Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tasty Leftovers

2 Sundays ago I roasted two whole chickens.  I am still trying to gauge how much to prepare for a meal with all 5 of us home to eat.
It's amazing how out of practice you can get at fixing meals for a large crowd once your kids mostly leave home and it's just you and the spouse to cook for.

Anyway, I ended up with one whole chicken leftover after that Sunday's supper to figure out how to use up in another dinner.  I pulled out the crock pot on Monday evening and set the leftover whole chicken to simmer overnight in some of the stock I harvested from roasting them both last Sunday.
By Tuesday I had a very rich stock along with tender chicken pieces I picked off the carcass.

So I decided to try one of those copy cat recipes for the Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup that are floating around on the internet.

The one I used is located Here.

It was fairly quick to prepare.  Of course you could make your own Gnocchi(I've never made gnocchi however and didn't want this dish to be my guinea pig)and it would take longer but be more homemade from scratch.

My only change was I didn't add the dried Thyme because I didn't have any and had no car yesterday to go run out for any.  It didn't seem to hurt the flavor however to leave it out.
Oh, and I just used 2% Milk and not Half and Half.  And I added a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken it up more(as I like a thick soup)instead of using more flour beyond the initial amount of that ingredient.

4 out of 5 diners approved this meal, served with some whack biscuits, if a sopping up the liquid item was needed to accompany this soup. ;-)
The only change I would make would be to put the carrot shreds in sooner rather than later so they soften more.  I didn't care for crunchy carrot bits in this.

Along with the biscuits(bought on sale and with a coupon)the cost was around $10 for 7-8 hearty servings.  We have 2 servings leftover for quick lunches.
A container of this soup To-Go at Olive Garden would run you $5.79.  Even if that container held 2 servings, you'd need to spend at least $17.37 + tax to feed a family of 5 with this soup.  And that doesn't include the cost of any bread products.
Also the OG version has 1,420 mg of sodium per serving, which is more than I want in my soup.  The recipe I used has added salt but it's to your taste and I added about 1/2 teaspoon(=1,150 mg for the whole pot of soup)which made it plenty salty.  Spread out over 7-8 servings that way less than the OG version.

Really, this is just a psuedo-Italian version of Chicken and Dumplings with added spinach and some herbs we Southerners don't put into our version.
This will be added to my recipe collection and be made again....especially since the Daughter bought me two bags of gnocchi and I only used one, so this will get made at least once more.

Now my problem is I have shredded chicken from half a roast chicken still as this soup only used 1 cup of the shreds.  And now I also have most of a bag of fresh spinach to use up as the recipe only called for 1 cup and what store sells that little spinach at a pop? lolz

I am thinking of using the chicken leftovers in a risotto.  I am not a big risotto fan but Hubs loves anything Italian and the BF loves anything Carb-y evidently so it will be eaten and go over well.
If I had more chicken left I might have prepared fajitas or quesadillas.

The spinach is slated to be used in a Spinach Salad with some boiled eggs and bacon because well, who doesn't like anything with bacon, right? 8-)

Have you got a "go to" use for leftover roasted chicken?



  1. I use leftover chicken in a salad, or like you, in quesadillas. Or chicken soup. Or wraps.

  2. Yes, mainly chicken enchilladas- I can freeze a whole pan of them- and I make a 'pulled chicken' similar to pulled pork (I don't eat pork) with a homemade barbeque sauce with onions.I serve that on buns and no, I don't make my own. I don't like canned bisuits though or really, homemade dumplings.I do like chicken salad (just celery, onions and mayo)so I sometimes cut up my chicken (some of it can be shredded) and make a yummy chicken salad. I like to serve it with canteloupe. A lot of folks add grapes and pecans and that's good too but adds to the cost.

  3. That soup recipe sounds really good and I would love to make it, but TheHub refuses to eat soup before mid October or after mid March. I bookmarked it for fall.

    My go to for leftover chicken is to just saute some seasoning veggies in a skillet, toss in whatever veggies are leftover plus the chicken, add rice or noodles and some chicken broth. Cook it until the liquid cooks down and toss in either butter, cream cheese or cream and call it done. Sometimes I cook nice foods but most of the time our meals are fodder.

  4. chicken sandwiches with the spinach and some Miracle Whip and maybe some cheese

    Put bbq sauce on it. I eat this with a meal or in a sandwich, preferably with cole slaw on the side or in the sandwich.

    This Southerner only uses salt and pepper in chicken and dumpling.

  5. Usually with leftover chicken like that I freeze it for use in chicken enchiladas. My hubby uses leftover chicken for sandwiches.

  6. If we can keep leftover chicken from Ryan, who will make it into tacos... we'll make chicken tacos.

  7. It has been too hot to cook much. 106 on Monday!
    We have been eating a lot of freezer meals. Really cleaning out freezer so know what I have. Hope it cools off so I can do some batch cooking.:) We had carne asada Sunday Monday Moracan chicken,,green beans and potatoes, Tuesday turkey burger, mashed potatoes and corn. tonight will be something
    on the grill.

  8. With four other people coming and going according to their varied schedules, I am sure it would be difficult to know who will be at meals all the time. So, I expect that fact and the fact you are out of practice for cooking for so many that you will have more of these dilemnas.

  9. I do not have a "go-to" use for leftover roast chicken (other than sandwiches), but I was thinking chicken enchiladas for you. You could even add the spinach to them.

  10. Yum to all. Of course my go to is hot dishes or fried rice type dishes, but I just made chicken breasts to shred and stewed them in BBQ sauce remnants to use that up. Happy daughter and hubs eating pulled chicken sandwiches for lunch this week. Who didn't like the soup? I'm going to give it a go, but perhaps in the fall. It was a hot one today.

  11. Chicken stir fry Asian style using garlic, onion, ginger and every veg in the fridge served with zuchini noodles instead of rice.
    Bell peppers stuffed with chicken, beans, cheese, spinach, sautéed onions or salsa.

  12. we don't use the word leftovers but rechauffe.

  13. Ummmmm, I don;t remember getting my invite for dinner!
    And yes, it is amazing how quickly you get out of the swing of a large family and all the chores.


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