Thursday, May 8, 2008

I Picked up a Chicken on the Way Home From Work

I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work and found a rotisserie chicken on sale. You can just bet it went directly into my grocery buggy.

If you visit my website, you know that I use weekly meal plans and (usually) only go to the grocery store once a week. So, my dilemma was how to fit some chicken entrees in my plans for the week. This is how I am going to use the chicken:

My original dinner entree for kielbasa with potatoes au' gratin will become Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya. This recipe is better with andouille sausage, buy hey, I already had the kielbasa which will be great, too! This recipe will take time to prepare but can be cooked over the weekend, or when you have some time, and reheated. I really think it is better when left to sit for a day or two because the flavors will blend making it a much richer tasting dish. (Recipe from FoodNetwork is below.)

I was going to serve the traditional 7-Layer Salad but will change it to 7-Layer Chinese Chicken Salad for a scrumptious main dish salad that you can prepare in no time. (Recipe from is below.)

The longer cooking chicken pot pie will be a quick-and-easy meal using the Easy-as-Pie Chicken Pie recipe to take advantage of the pre-cooked chicken. You will find a great technique for baking the crust with this recipe. (Recipe from is below.)

I hope you find a chicken on the way home from work to save you time and energy with your meals!

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
3 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell peppers
3 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne
1 pound andouille, chorizo, or other smoked sausage cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/2 pounds cooked white and dark chicken meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 bay leaves
3 cups medium-grain white rice
6 cups water
1 cup chopped green onions

1. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat.
2. Add the onions, bell peppers, 2 teaspoons of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the cayenne. Stirring often, brown the vegetables for about 20 minutes, or until they are caramelized and dark brown in color. Scrape the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen any browned particles
3. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen any browned particles.
4. Season the chicken with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Add the chicken and the bay leaves to the pot. Brown the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, scrapping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned particles.
5. Add the rice and stir for 2 to 3 minutes to coat it evenly.
6. Add the water, stir to combine, and cover. Cook over medium heat for 30 to 35 minutes, without stirring, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
7. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the green onions and serve.

7-Layer Chinese Chicken Salad Salad
5 cups shredded lettuce
1 3-oz package oriental-flavor ramen noodle soup mix
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 11-oz can white Shoepeg corn, drained
1 large tomato, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (optional)

2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon grated gingerroot
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 oil
2 Tablespoons vinegar

1. Arrange lettuce in bottom of large (3-quart) clear glass serving bowl.
2. Layer noodles and all remaining ingredients, in order listed, over lettuce.
3. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until well combined.
4. Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately.

Easy-As-Pie Chicken Pie
1 Pre-made pie crust, at room temperature
1 10 3/4-oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen, diced southern-style hash browns
1 1-lb bag frozen mixed vegetables
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place pie crust on baking sheet and decorate or flute edges as desired. Bake 8 minutes or until golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, combine soup and milk in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until bubbly, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in chicken, potatoes, vegetables, and pepper. Bring mixture to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 8 - 10 minutes until heated through.
4. Remove skillet from heat.
5. Using a large spatula, remove pie crust from baking sheet and place on top of chicken mixture.
6. Cut into wedges and serve.

These and other meal ideas can be found at

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