Thursday, June 28, 2012

Left Over Roast Chicken

Whole chickens were on sale so I’m having chicken this week.  In fact, I’m having chicken for several meals  (1 chicken = several meals).   The question is after roasting the chicken what I’m going to do with the left over’s.  

Chicken Pot Pie

Besides the easy answer of making sandwiches, a good way to use that left over chicken is to make individual pot pies.  They are easy to make with an already made flavorful roast chicken and are a meal in themselves.  You can also freeze them for a later date if you make them into individual pot pies.


1 carrot 
1 celery stalk
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups of water
1 small onion cut in half
Demi glace

Pie crust

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (best to chill cubes in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before using)
1/4 cup chilled vegetable shortening
3 to 4 tbsp ice water


Pulled chicken
6 tbs. butter
1 large onion
1 bag of frozen carrots and peas
3 celery stalks
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or ½ dried thyme
2 tbs. fresh parsley or 1 tbs. dried
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

I like to use some large individual ramekins I have and make the pie into individual servings, but you can make it in a large pie pan if you like.

Make a broth with the all the chicken demi glace from the roast chicken, carrots, celery, onion and salt if necessary.  Demi glace is the drippings from your roast chicken that turn to a jelly like substance and comes from cooking with bones in.  It is pure flavor.  Do not let it go to waste. When roasting a chicken, I usually just put a rub of salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder on the chicken and those flavors go very well in the demi glace when using it.  When the onions, celery, and carrots are soft, take them out and toss them away.  Taste your broth for seasoning.  You may not need any salt or pepper if you used a rub.  Or you can go the easy way and buy canned chicken broth, but I like to use the juices from my bird so I make the mess and fuss. 

Prepare the pie crust dough. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor.  This really simplifies the crust making process.  Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse 5 times to combine. Add the shortening and pulse a few more times, until the dough resembles a coarse cornmeal, with some pea-sized pieces of butter. Slowly stream in ice water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough sticks together when you press some between your fingers. Empty the food processor, placing the dough on a clean surface. Use your hands to mold into a ball and flatten the ball into a disk. Sprinkle with a little flour, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes., before rolling.  Or do it the simple way and go with the store bought crust or I love to use the puff pastry as a topper for a pot pie when I don’t want to make the dough.  I always have some in my freezer (It is also great for a quick dessert.  That gives me another blog idea). 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

Finely chop your onion and celery.  For the filling melt the butter on medium heat.  Add the onions, and celery, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring one minute more to get rid of the flour taste.  This will thicken your filling.  Whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the chicken stock. Whisk in the milk. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the chicken meat, thyme, carrots and peas, parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary by adding salt and pepper and stir well. Divide the warm filling among six 10 ounce ramekins.  You can also buy little individual aluminum pot pie tins in the grocery store. 

Prepare the crust. Roll out dough on a lightly flour surface to a little less than a quarter-inch thick. Cut into 6 pieces to fit your ramekins, slightly larger than the surface of the ramekins. Lay the dough on each pot pie filling. Fold the excess dough under itself and use the tines of a fork to press the dough against the edge of the ramekins. Cut a 1 inch vent into each individual pie for the steam to escape. Use a pastry brush to apply an egg wash (1 egg and a bit of water) to each pie for a nice brown crust.

Line a baking sheet with foil to prevent any boiling over mess and place the pies on the baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken and Dumplings

Pulled chicken
1 onion
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 sprigs of fresh

2 cups flour
3 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water

Quarter your onion.  Simmer chicken, onion, salt, pepper, water, bay leaf and thyme until onion is tender.  You can also add additional flavor by using your demi glace for this stock.  If you are using the demi glace, make sure you don’t add salt and pepper until you taste because you will be adding it with the demi glace also.

Discard the onion and bay leaf.  Continue to simmer over low heat while making the dumplings.

To make the dumplings, cut shortening into the flour and salt. Stir in 1/4 cup water (more if needed) to form a soft dough. Roll out dough on a floured surface, with a rolling pin, until very thin. Cut into 1 inch wide strips using a pizza cutter or knife. Tear off 1 inch long pieces from these strips and drop into simmering broth and chicken meat. Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid off, then 10 minutes more with the lid on. Serve nice and warm. 

This is a southern dumpling recipe and is more like a large noodle.   If you prefer the biscuit type dumpling, I use the biscuit recipe on top of the above chicken broth.  I like both, but I lean toward the wide noodle type dumpling.  Reminds me of a thick chicken noodle soup.  This is true comfort food.

Chicken, it is what’s for dinner and another dinner. 

Tomorrow I'll give you two more ideas using the left over chicken using the puffed pastry along with puffed pastry dessert ideas.   

Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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