I read your comments on the 8-3 post and contemplated my whole chicken options. I have never beer canned a chicken before and my plan was to try that until I reached two snags: we had no cans (we recycled!) and I suddenly remembered that Patrick has started a tumbling class that meets at 5:30 on Monday nights. So I butterflied the chicken (take a pair of kitchen shears. cut along the backbone and remove spine. flatten with your hands) and left it with Steve to grill while I took Patrick to his class. My intention was to then take Patrick grocery shopping with me after tumbling as we were facing critical shortages and Steve was not available the next day to help me shop with three kids. I made it as far as the store parking lot (with Patrick moaning about how tiiiiiired he was and how hoooooot and how he doubted he had the strength to make it down an aisle) when I discovered that I had left my wallet on my desk. So I took Patrick home and left him for Steve to feed while I went back out to grocery shop alone. I got home at 9:30. It kinda sucked.
Thus on Monday we wound up eating: shell pasta and cooked carrots (Caroline and Edward;) cheese and crackers and turkey sandwich meat and spinach leaves with balsamic vinaigrette and ice cream (Patrick;) grilled chicken legs and sauteed wild mushrooms (Steve;) and ice cream and wine (that would be me.)
Tuesday I stripped and chopped the chicken. I intended to saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic in butter and then add flour and chicken stock to create something like a pot pie filling with peas and the leftover chicken that I could serve over egg noodles. By the time dinner actually rolled around I said to hell with it and made chicken and cheese quesadillas. I pulled out half the chicken and heated it with a can of Ro*tel tomatoes for everyone but Patrick; then I discovered that Caroline and Edward are not quite ready for chiles either. Oh well. Plain quesadillas for the seven and unders.
Wednesday we still had leftover chicken so I again considered the noodle thing but again I ditched the idea for something easier. This time I opened a jar of spaghetti sauce* to which I added garlic sauteed in olive oil, fresh basil, a ton of grated parmesan and the finely chopped chicken. The proportions were about 2 cups of chicken to 1 cup of sauce so that it was quite thick. We had it over rotini and there was leftover sauce.
Today we had friends to play in the morning and I had an epiphany at lunchtime. I looked at the chicken and tomato sauce and a package of flour tortillas and created pizzadillas (I have no doubt that someone has thought of this before me but I felt wildly creative.)
Can I call this a recipe?
1 1/2 c leftover cooked chicken mixed with marinara sauce
large flour tortillas
handful of shredded mozzarella
A little cooking spray on a hot skillet, press together, melt, flip, cut, serve.
Note: Patrick, who refused to eat the chicken on rotini the night before, ate this and said it was delicious. Ha! I learned a little while ago that cheese freezes really well so I keep 8 ounce bags of shredded cheddar and shredded mozzarella in my freezer all the time. Today I whacked the bag to loosen the frozen shreds and then put the still frozen cheese on the quesadilla. Took an extra minute to melt.
My friend Noelle pointed out that we could use the same starting point and go in all kinds of crazy directions, like lamb feta and black olives for a greekadilla or Swiss cheese and diced ham for a lorraineadilla.
Any other thoughts?
* I have no problem using jarred/canned/frozen anything as long as it tastes good to me. However, I have yet to find a jarred spaghetti sauce that I like - they are all too sweet for my taste - so I usually prefer to make and freeze my own. I still keep trying different jarred sauces, though, because it would be really nice to have one to keep on hand in the pantry and I see no reason to martyr myself. This week I tried Newman's Fired Roasted Tomato and Garlic. I didn't love it straight from the jar but with the chicken and the basil and the cheese and the extra garlic it was ok.