Leftover Chicken? 10 Delish Ways To Use It

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PonzuNoodlePhoto: Courtesy of Dinner: A Love Story.

Let's face it: You're busy — too busy to mess around with complicated cooking at the end of the day. Still, dinner should be more than just a cup full of cereal and the dream of a brighter tomorrow. Enter: Jenny Rosenstrach, a busy mom who makes dinner happen with style, simplicity, and just the right amount of sizzle. Whether or not you're cooking for kids, we love her easy, delicious approach. In fact, we love it so much, we'll be sharing one of her recipes every week, so you can have a life — and a REALLY good meal, too.

Time for another round of crowd-sourced inspiration! Here’s the question I posed to you all via Facebook the other day: ”I have at least half a rotisserie chicken in the fridge at home that I have to use tonight or forever regret tossing it. How would you stretch it into dinner?” A few hours later I was faced with an embarrassment of riches — There were almost 150 directions I could’ve taken. Here are my faves.

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1. Pot pies, tacos, and enchiladas seemed to be the default direction for 50 percent of you.

2. From Sally: “Lettuce wraps: Shred, layer with cilantro, pickled onions, cucumber, and hot chilis on a lettuce leaf. Wrap in rice paper wrapper that has been dunked in warm water for a second. Wrap, roll, and dip in a garlic chili lime sauce. Easy, engages the whole table, and super fresh.”

3. From Adina: “Burrito Bowls, every time!”

4. From Naria: “Curry chicken salad, crunchy bread, hearty green salad.”

5. From Cheryl: “My favorite Chicken Salad. So nice to have a simple cook night. Chicken with a light coating of mayonnaise, halved red grapes, salt & pepper to taste, and roasted cashew halves served on top so they keep their crunch. Eat with lettuce as wraps or on a nice rosemary bread.”

6. From Ada-Marie “Orzo cooked in chicken broth and a little butter; mix in chicken, frozen peas, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, shake of oregano. We call this Easy Peasey Cheesey Chicken Orzo.”

7. From A Bowl Full of Simple: Summer Rolls

8. From Molly: “Obviously, you have to make Indonesian Chicken Salad.”

9. From Jorena: “Avgolemeno.”

10. From Alex: “cold ginger peanut noodles with sliced cucumber, green onions, and chicken.”

That last one from Alex was exactly what I was in the mood for. But instead of making a peanut sauce, like I usually do, I decided to put my ponzu to use.

Ponzu Noodles with Chicken

I whisked together about 1/3 cup ponzu sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, a dash of fish sauce, a teaspoon of Sriracha, a squeeze of lime, few drops of sesame oil. Then, I boiled 3/4 pound of soba noodles, drained, then (in same pot) sauteed minced scallions, garlic, and ginger in a little grapeseed oil (you can use vegetable oil) before tossing the noodles back in to the pot with chopped up CSA green beans, chicken, chopped cilantro, and mint, and the ponzu dressing. I really wished I had cukes or chopped peanuts — that would’ve been killer. It was missing the crunch factor.

I reserved a little of the chicken for Phoebe, who doesn’t like noodles in any form, and made a quick chicken salad for her with mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, and a little curry powder (thanks Naria!). Green beans on the side.

And, that was dinner. Thanks for the help everyone!

NEXT: Pretzel Chicken Is As Delish As It Sounds

Jenny Rosenstrach is the author of Dinner: A Love Story and the blog of the same name. She and her husband write The Providers column for Bon Appetit.