Tag Archives: leftovers

Recipe: Chicken-Potato-Pea Soup

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This will be a super-quick post for a super-easy recipe–or it was easy for me because I made it with leftovers.

Remember when I made chicken broth?

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Well, I took the last container of frozen broth, put in some of the leftover pasty filling, and made soup.  Because what is soup but broth and filling?

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I just heated the two leftovers together in a sauce pan.  I started off with the heat on high, to melt and thaw the ingredients quickly, then, once the broth had all liquified, I let the ingredients simmer together until I felt it had been long enough.  Maybe altogether, the soup was on the stove for half an hour.

The most difficult part of the process was breaking the frozen pasty filling into pieces small enough to put into a pot.  Not until I went to put the filling into soup did I realize that putting all of that filling into one gallon-sized Ziploc was maybe not my smartest ever decision because it had frozen into one block of frozen filling.  I ended up swinging the bag into the lip of a concrete stair step a few times to break it into manageable chunks.

So as a postscript to my pasty recipe, maybe put leftovers into smaller bags.  Or keep a concrete step or sledgehammer handy.

DSCN6722The resulting soup was rather like pea-potato soup with chicken and onion.  The peas pretty much liquified when heated and the potatoes had begun to break apart too.  I appreciated this, though, because it added some thickness to the soup, which might otherwise have been pretty brothy.

A little extra salt and pepper was all the soup needed to be delicious.  My roommate and I ate ours with grilled cheese sandwiches, using the soup first as a dunking sauce, and then as soup itself.

All photos are mine.  Click to view them larger.

An Untimely Post About Leftovers

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Well, one of these recipes is untimely. It’s very difficult to hold or attend a Thanksgiving meal without receiving leftovers. Turkey is not my favorite, but I recognize that it is traditional, and I would frankly miss it if I were to attend a Thanksgiving meal without it. The sides are what I love best. This year I discovered a wonderful remedy that helps me eat up all of the Thanksgiving leftovers without becoming tired of turkey or of any of the leftovers either:  I wrapped it all up in a tortilla. This year’s leftovers included turkey, stuffing, cranberry chutney, and Brussels sprouts (the last not shown here, but they were actually pretty tasty in this tortilla recipe; I had it several times in the weeks following the holiday).

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I never did quite figure out how long to microwave these tortillas for. The easiest thing seemed to be to microwave the fixings without the tortilla and then spoon all that onto the tortilla.

This next recipe is less seasonal, though perhaps it is more fitting for winter. One of my first roommates post-college used to buy roast chickens and from the leftover bones make some really excellent chicken soup. I got into the habit then of not tossing away the bones, knowing they could have some use. I don’t have her chicken soup recipe, but I found a recipe on 100 Days of Real Food for Crockpot chicken stock.

We had maybe two and half sandwich sized Ziploc bags worth of frozen chicken bones from various meals, fried and roasted, in the freezer. I used baby carrots because they are simpler to snack on and so more likely to get used in our household. The onion we had.  I bought a whole celery from the grocery store, but retrospectively, I wish I’d bought a more expensive but less wasteful carton of celery sticks.

I used what spices we already had: a bay leaf, thyme, and salt. I didn’t have parsley.

The recipe was simple—beyond simple. I minced the carrots and celery and tossed it all in the Crockpot without bothering to defrost the chicken.

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Then I filled the Crockpot with water to within about an inch and a half from its lip, and I turned the Crockpot on low.

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Because I’m still nervous about using a Crockpot and leaving it be, I did this all during the day instead of overnight as the recipe suggests, though my roommate did convince me to leave it on overnight to make more flavorful stock. (We tasted it before bed.)

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In the end, we had four full Tupperware containers of thick yellow stock, ladled from the Crockpot into a wire mesh strainer held over the Tupperware. (The remaining bones, overcooked celery and carrots, and all we had to toss in the trash, which seemed a sad waste. Maybe the carrots could have been edible if I’d been able to detangle them from the bones.)

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We kept one container in the refrigerator and froze the rest to be used later. Since then we’ve used it to cook chicken noodle soup, to add some flavor to rice and to pastas, and mostly to add to soup cans to make a can of soup last a little longer. I mixed it with both chicken soups and beef soups, and both were delicious.

There’s still some in the freezer.

All photos are mine.  Click to view them larger.