Roast Chicken and Tasty Leftovers
By Lynette Schultz, and Margaret Furtado, MS RD LDN CYT
I tend to be very scrutinizing regarding what lands on my dinner table and you may be the same way. Ever go to the grocery store and think to yourself as you pass the butcher or the seafood department or the produce section, “Hmm…I’ll buy this for tonight, and this for tomorrow…” and then not prepare anything you intended because you were no longer in the mood for the items you had selected for that day? Then there are occasions when you just plain can’t make up your mind when deciding what to plan for dinner. When this happens to me, there is a standard by which I am never disappointed. That standard is simply a good old-fashioned roasted chicken. I am confident that this will become one of your favorites too!
By paying close attention to your recommended serving sizes, it is possible to get several meals out of one roasted chicken. Not only does this dish go the distance in the form of leftovers, it can be transformed into brand new “first time” delicious and satisfying dishes until it’s all gone.
When you are finished with your roasted chicken dinner, peel the meat from the bones and store it in a separate container. This will save space in the refrigerator, and some of the work for your next chicken meal as is already done! If you are thinking about what to take to the office for lunch tomorrow? No problem! If you are in the early postoperative phase, try mixing some finely chopped chicken meat with a small amount of fat-free or reduced calorie mayonnaise, a dash of salt and pepper or your favorite prepared seasoning salt, some finely chopped celery and green onion or parsley and you have a freshly made chicken salad to eat plain or stuff into a mini-pita pocket or spread onto a slice of toasted reduced calorie whole grain bread.
If you are further out from surgery, shred some of that white meat over a container of fresh greens and your favorite “salad veggies” and enjoy a fresh chicken salad for lunch. Add some sliced boiled egg whites for even more protein without extra calories. (In regard to salads, if they are indicated for your recommended diet, always be sure to select dressings that are also recommended and appropriate.)
Then…just when you think it’s over…WAIT! Don’t throw the bones away yet. There is a pot of homemade soup to be made out of those bare chicken bones, and it is truly as easy as it gets! When you get down to the bones, simply place them in a large stockpot with enough water to cover the bones, add some onion, carrot and celery scraps, (a few smashed cloves of garlic never hurts!) bring it all to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer, cover it and let it simmer for a couple of hours. When it’s done, strain the liquid into a holding container, and now you can throw out the bones and scraps. Return your homemade stock to the stockpot and let it settle until a grease layer forms on top. Skim that grease layer off with a large spoon or by resting paper towels on the top until the grease is absorbed. Now, what you have is a delicious, nutritious stock for a wonderful homemade soup! Add some chopped onion, carrots and celery, or other vegetables appropriate for your diet, and simmer again for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked throughout. (If you have potatoes and Brussels sprouts from your roasted chicken dinner to use up, chop them up and add those too.) Voila! Homemade vegetable soup. You may want to season it with a bit of salt and pepper, but again, use amounts appropriate for your diet.
Whole Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
1 (5-pound) whole chicken
2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
4 cloves fresh garlic, halved
½ cup white wine or chicken stock
2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
12 small to medium baby red potatoes, washed and halved
18 Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, and halved
Fresh sprigs parsley
Method of Preparation
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Remove all innards from the chicken. Using kitchen shears or a filet knife, remove all of the skin and trim all of the excess fat. In a small cup or bowl, combine the salt, pepper, and basil and mix well into a dry rub. Rub the seasonings evenly on all surface areas of the chicken. Place the chicken breast side down in a 6-quart roasting pan with a lid. Add the garlic, wine or stock, water, and lemon juice to the pan. Place the potatoes on one side of the pan, and the Brussels sprouts on the other, along with the chicken.
Cover with the lid and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting with the liquid in the pan three or four times. Remove the cover and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes, until a leg can easily be separated from the body when checked with a fork, and the juices from the chicken run clear. (If using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of the breast should be about 180°F.) Remove the chicken from the pan and let stand for about 5 minutes before carving. For an elegant presentation, serve the chicken, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts on the same serving platter, decorated with fresh parsley sprigs.
Yield: 6 servings (about 3-4 ounces chicken, 6 Brussels sprout halves, and 4 potato halves).
Nutritional Facts per Serving
357 calories; 29 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 5 g total fat; 76 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugar; 464 mg sodium
This dinner is easy and elegant, yet packed with flavor from the garlic and white wine. We often find that when we try out a recipe or create a new one, we feel inspired with new ideas. It is our hope that you will be inspired as well, and that all of your cooking endeavors are fun and delicious.