8 Creative Ways To Dress Up Your Leftovers

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1Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
Roast chicken is an end unto itself. In fact, it is many: a nourishing dinner, that crispy skin, and the smell that permeates your house, for starters. Roasting chicken causes marriage proposals and genius breakthroughs.

But, it can also be a means — to homemade stock, to pan sauce, and, perhaps most heroically, to a host of pack-ahead lunches. Here are eight ideas to get you going, but we have a feeling you'll think of more. Yet another reason to pop a chicken in the oven.
2Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
1. Bulk up a green salad up with the help of some chicken and roasted fingerling potatoes. Unless you're using a sturdier green, like kale, pack the chicken separately and assemble just before eating.

2. Shred the meat into tacos — or bring rice and beans separately to burrito-fy your lunch.
3Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
3. Make a batch of jambalaya, adding the chicken a few minutes before you finish cooking.

4. Arrange the meat on a sandwich with whatever vegetables, cheeses, and condiments make your heart pitter-patter — from pesto to romesco to aioli.

5. Make a chicken salad by combining torn-apart chicken with your pick of mayonnaise, herbs, and crisp vegetables. Need inspiration? Try this one. Spread the chicken salad between two pieces of bread or eat with a salad.
4Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
6. Soups let the meat and carcass do double-duty: start with a big pot of stock, then turn it into a soup, any soup, or ditch the recipes altogether and try your hand at chicken noodle.

7. With curry paste and coconut milk, you're minutes away from curry. Just don't forget the rice (and pack it separately to keep it from getting mushy).

RELATED: Cook Rice Perfectly, Every Time
5Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
8. Broaden your horizons from chicken-centric dishes to chicken complements. We're talking grain salads (such as this one). Your best bet is one that has plenty of flavor on its own but longs to find its other half — in the form of good, chicken-y protein.


Food52 helps people become better, smarter, happier cooks. Food52 was named 2012 Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation and won Best Culinary Website at the 2013 IACP awards.