Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cook once - eat twice

Why cook one meal at a time when you could double the quantity and save some for another night?  Those of you that follow my blog regularly already know that I often cook a chicken or a turkey on the weekend and use the leftover meat throughout the week.  I use it in salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, casseroles and tacos.  It's a big time saver to have cooked chicken on hand when time is short and my family is hungry. 

Last weekend I roasted a chicken in my ceramic dutch oven that I got as a Christmas gift from my brother.   (Thanks, Chinky) I used an herb roasted turkey recipe that I have been making for a couple of years.  (It works just as well with a chicken as it does for turkey.)

 Herbed Roasted Turkey (or in my case - Chicken)
Brine:                                            Herb Paste:
2 cup salt                                      1 ¼ cups fresh parsley leaves
2 gallons water                            4 teaspoons fresh thyme
12-14 pound turkey                    2 teaspoons fresh sage leaves
                                                        1 ½ teaspoons fresh rosemary
                                                        1 shallot
                                                        2 garlic cloves
                                                        ¾ teaspoon lemon zest
                                                        ¾ teaspoon salt
                                                        1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
                                                        ¼ cup olive oil

Dissolve salt in water in stock pot.  Add turkey and refrigerate 4-6 hours.  Remove turkey from brine and rinse under cool water.  Pat dry with paper towels.  (You can skip this step because if you purchase a roaster chicken that has already been injected with a saline solution.)

For herb paste, process, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, shallot, garlic, lemon zest and salt in cuisinart until finely chopped.  Add mustard and olive oil.  Pulse.

Spread paste under turkey skin, inside cavity and on the skin of the bird.  Place turkey in a ditch oven and roast, uncovered for ½ hour at 400.  Cover and roast turkey for 1 more hour.


 Warning:  This bird will come out of the oven with green herbs on the skin.  This may discourage finicky eaters who are hesitant to eat anything green.  If your family is apprehensive, don't rub the paste on the top of the bird.

If you like the taste of fresh herbs, you will love this chicken.  It smells phenomenal while it's cooking and it tastes even better.  We ate more chicken for dinner than we usually do so I only ended up with 2 servings leftover for another day.

What to do with my 2 servings of leftover chicken? - Tabbouleh!  This was my first attempt at homemade tabbouleh so I chose to start with a recipe.  I clipped this recipe for Chicken Tabbouleh with Tahini Drizzle out of the September issue of Cooking Light magazine.  What I ended up with didn't really resemble the original recipe but I must say that it was pretty tasty.  I loved the fresh herbs (especially the mint) and the crunch of the bulgur. 

Chicken Tabbouleh
1 1/4 cups water                                               1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup uncooked bulgur, rinsed                      1/2 cup sliced grape tomatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil                                    2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt                                                   2 Tablespoons fresh mint
1/2 pound chicken, cooked and diced          1 green onion, sliced thin

Combine water, bulgur, 1 T. oil and 1/2 t. salt in saucepan.  bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 1o min.  (Do not stir)  Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.   Transfer to a bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Toss to combine.  Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

I ate the chicken tabbouleh for lunch on the day that I made it and then I ate it again the next day.  It was even better the second day.  The flavors brightened after it sat in the refrigerator overnight. It's official - I'm a tabbouleh fan!

Bon Appetit!

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