There’s nothing like a stuffed, roasted chicken. The last time I wandered by the part of the meat section where they keep the “fresh frozen” roasting chickens in packages of two, the price was right. One chicken is sitting in our deep freeze and the other has been on the menu for the last three days.
Unlike the cute little 3 pound pre-stuffed numbers I used to get at the local store, this young lady was a 5 pound giant. On Monday night I simply roasted her. I made my own stuffing for the first time (It was a bit too soggy for my tastes. I’ll have to work on that.) and packed it in, trussed her up, and roasted her in my little graniteware roasting pan without a rack, breast down for the first half and breast up for the second half. Nothing fancy, but as long as the chicken is halfway decent to begin with, this method always yields tasty results. We gorged ourselves, but even after a long day’s work we couldn’t consume it all. (And yet, as always, there was room for ice cream.)
On Tuesday night I pulled the carcass out of the fridge and picked it over, removing every scrap of meat I could get. This pre-cooked shredded meat became the filling for one of our favorite hot dinner sandwiches – an Americanized version of an old French bistro classic. I mix equal parts strong mustard and apricot preserves and spread them on both pieces of bread, pile on the chicken, cover with thick slices of strong cheese (muenster, though not sharp, is also excellent) and toast under the broiler. When I’m better prepared, I also like to slip in some thin apple and red onion slices before reassembling the sandwiches for eating. The recipe I adapted this from calls for sautéed spinach, but neither of us cares for wilted greens, so I have always omitted it. I personally think this sandwich would work well with shredded cabbage on it, but Matt has an aversion to cabbage, so I haven’t tried it yet.
Wednesday I tried my hand at a new soup with what remains of the shredded chicken: chicken and corn chowder. This recipe is a mash-up of the Vermont Corn Chowder from ‘Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters: Recipes you Remember & Love’ and the Corn Chowder from my 1943 edition of ‘The American Woman’s Cookbook’.
Amanda’s Leftover-Chicken and Corn Chowder
- 1 or 2 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 pound potatoes, cooked, peeled, and diced
- 1 cup milk
- 1 (15.25 oz) can whole-kernel or creamed corn (an excellent variation would be 2 cups of grilled corn kernels sliced off of leftover ears from a barbecue)
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
- Cheddar cheese, shredded, for garnish
- Fry bacon in a large saucepan until brown. Remove and save for garnish. Over medium heat cook onion and celery in bacon drippings until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and paprika and stir with a wooden spoon. Add potatoes, milk, corn (drain if using whole-kernel canned corn), and chicken and stir until soup is heated through. (You can stop here if you like your chowder with potato chunks or continue to cook until the potatoes become smooth.)
- Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles.
I froze the rest of the carcass, as is my habit now, for my next stock-making day.