Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chicken Left-Overs - Polish Style


In our house we seem to be eating more chicken these days – it’s lean, healthy and can be delicious.  But since most days there are only two of us, when we roast a whole bird at home, or bring a rotisserie chicken home from the grocery store, we always seem to have a half of the bird left on the cutting board. 

Peter is not a fan of just reheating the odds and ends so he’s always after Laura to find a new way of re-purposing the left over chicken meat to create an entirely new dish.  If we only have a few ounces of chicken left, we’ll just put the remains in the freezer and bring it back when we have two or three cups of chicken meat accumulated.  The goal is to change the texture and add new flavors.  It pays to have a meat grinder even if you only use it a few times a year.  Or, if you have a standing mixer, you can get a meat-grinding attachment. It’s a very versatile kitchen tool.
Here are two ways of preparing left over chicken – Polish style.  Both are easy and delicious.  Smacznego!

Chicken Meat Balls – Polish Style
Serves 6

3 to 4 cups twice-ground, cooked chicken meat
3 slices white bread, soaked in milk and squeezed
1½ tablespoons butter, melted
2 egg yolks
½ cup fine bread crumbs
2 tablespoons oil
Parsley sprigs
1 lemon, sliced
Salt & pepper

Mix the ground cooked chicken meat with the bread.  Season lightly.  Add the butter and egg yolks and mix well.  Form the meat into small golf-ball sized balls and roll in the breadcrumbs.  Heat the oil.  Sautee the balls on all sides until heated through.  Arrange on a warmed dish. Garnish with parsely and lemon slices.  Serve with french fries, a dipping sauce, or fresh vegetables. 

Chicken & Bacon Stir-Fry
Serves 3

6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken
½ cup chicken broth or stock
2 or 3 stalks green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1½ to 2 cups cooked rice (to taste)

                                    2 tblspn chopped dill, divided
                                    Salt & pepper

Fry the bacon until just crisp.  Drizzle the broth over the chicken meat to moisten well.  Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok.  Mix the chicken, half the dill, bacon, green onion and rice in the pan.  Note:  add the rice slowly until your desired proportion is reached.  Stir fry until hot.  Season to taste.  Sprinkle remaining dill over the top.  Serve with your favorite veggies. 

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