RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Roast Chicken and then some...

With the upcoming holiday season, our lives are going to get busier than ever and sometimes it seems impossible to get dinner on the table.   Take-out is the easy route but not the healthiest.  My favorite dinner is roasting a chicken so that the leftovers can make additional meals with minimal effort.  Although not the fastest dinner, roasting a chicken is something any beginner can do.  I just stick an organic, free range chicken in the oven at 350 degrees until done – about 1 hour.  I check to see if it’s cooked through by cutting into the thickest part of the chicken.  Once cooked, I let it cool and tear off the meat into bite sized pieces.  A quicker alternative is to pick one an already roasted chicken at the grocery store or Costco. 

I then place the skeleton in a slow cooker with whatever spices and vegetables I have, fill to the top with water, and let it cook on the lowest setting for up to 5 days.  Among a few of its benefits - this broth is nutrient dense, boosts the immune system, relieves joint pains, and provides the fats necessary for hormone production. 

But the versatility of the roasted chicken is what I really want to talk about.  If I roast the chicken over the weekend, I can use the extra meat for quick dinners like these throughout the week:

  • Green Salad - A fresh green salad with cubes of chicken, fresh fruit, and some toasted nuts is one of our favorite meals for a simple lunch or dinner.
  • Chicken Salad – I love mixing yogurt, salt, curry powder, and halved grapes to shredded chicken for a quick chicken salad.
  • Chicken Soup - Chicken noodle soup is an obvious choice for leftover meat, but I also like to use it for chicken and rice soup, or even an extra-hearty minestrone.
  • BBQ Chicken Sandwich - Mix a little of your favorite BBQ sauce with the shredded chicken and pile it on a soft roll.
  • Lettuce Wraps - These wraps are just shredded or minced chicken rolled up in lettuce leaves along with small-diced vegetables and a sprinkling of sweet-salty sauce, but they're so good!
  • Burritos and Enchiladas - Roll up the leftover chicken in a tortilla along with beans, cheese, rice, and any other extras you might have on hand. Eat as is, or cover the rolls with salsa in a baking dish and bake until they're warmed through.