As meats go, chicken is one of the most versatile there is. You can bake it, fry it, grill it, slow cook it and put it into all sorts of dishes. It also goes well with just about any type of flavouring you like, from sweet to savoury to spicy. Turkey can be used in many of the same ways as well.
Left over poultry can easily be transformed into a whole new dish. It works best if it is baked or broiled and minimally seasoned, but you can find recipes that work well with almost any way that it is originally prepared. Here are ten ideas for left over poultry that are anything but boring.
Chicken or turkey salad
Chicken and turkey salads are great for lunch at home or to pack for school or work. You can throw this recipe together in no time with just a few ingredients. It’s also easy to customize. Just add in some diced apples or grapes to add sweetness and crunch, some chopped pecans for protein and flavour, or a little buffalo sauce to add heat. Serve on bread or crackers.
For a traditional recipe, try a basic chicken salad and for something more exotic, try tropical fruit chicken salad or chicken nacho salad.
Turkey is on the menu at every sandwich shop but, why go out when you can make your own? Just slice up some turkey, pile it on a halved baguette or sandwich brad slices, and add your favourite toppings. You can keep it simple with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, dress it up with some mushrooms and Swiss cheese, or add ranch dressing and bell pepper strips for a little kick. Use speciality breads for something more, for instance, A HOliday turkey sandwich on cranberry bread.
Chicken and pizza may not sound like a match made in heaven, but some people swear that it is. Barbecued chicken pizza is a popular dish at many restaurants, and it’s easy to make with left over chicken breasts. You could also substitute garlic or barbecue sauce for regular pizza sauce. Serve with salad and cheese sticks. Start with homemade pizza and get some inspiration online.
Go Italian with chicken fettuccine Alfredo
Take the recipe for fettucine Alfredo and add some cooked chicken and broccoli; the result looks fancy and tastes delicious, but it’s a cinch to make, especially when the chicken is already cooked. Or if you prefer, you can simply cook up some pasta and top with chopped chicken and store-bought Alfredo sauce. You could even make your own Alfredo sauce if you like. Also try y chicken lasagne as an alternative.
Casserole is something of a cliché, but it’s a great dish for using all sorts of left overs. Throw some things together to prepara a casserole in the oven: left over turkey, left over mashed potatoes and a sauce, making it perfect for the day after Christmas. It works nicely when substituting chicken for the turkey, as well.
Or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can throw together whatever left overs you have, add some shredded cheese and create your own casserole recipe.
Nachos and enchiladas are an excellent dish for giving left over meat a makeover. Any simple recipe for cheesy chicken nachos becomes even quicker when the chicken is already cooked and only has to be shredded, and these can be prepared with turkey, as well. Nachos and enchiladas go well with refried beans, guacamole and yellow or red rice.
The omelette is a popular breakfast dish, but it’s also great for brunch or even a change of pace at dinner. Try the Italian style and prepare a fiesta frittata with cooked chicken or turkey. Alternatively, combine your left over turkey with fresh veggies to create a dish that’s sure to become a family favorite. Serve with wheat toast and turkey bacon for a low-fat yet filling meal.
If you like curried dishes, a left over turkey curry will certainly put a smile on your face. It’s made with ingredients you probably have on hand. Cook up some rice and steam some vegetables for a quick and easy dinner for the family or when unexpected guests drop by.
Add these ideas to your recipe box, or use them as a starting point to come up with your own unique dishes. You’ll never grimace at the thought of left over poultry again!
Left over turkey or chicken pie
Here is a great way to use up left over turkey, and it makes a complete and nutritious meal all by itself. It’s also a nice way to put left over pie crust to good use. You probably have most of the ingredients you’ll need on hand – the only fresh ingredients required are potatoes, carrots, celery and onion, and if you’re a little short on any of these, it won’t make too much of a difference. It will turn out great with chicken as well, and you could even substitute canned veggies in a pinch. You can make a pie with left over chicken as well.
Chicken or turkey noodle soup
Chicken noodle soup is the quintessential comfort food, and it’s even more wonderful when it’s homemade. This recipe for chicken noodle soup is one that you can adjust as needed or even make up as you go along. Finely diced chicken, chicken broth and noodles are the key ingredients. Homemade broth is tastiest and healthiest, but store-bought will work just as well.
Carrots and celery are some of the most popular vegetable choices for homemade chicken soup, but you can use any veggies you like as long as they are finely chopped. Just simmer the vegetables in the broth for about 10 minutes, then add the chicken and uncooked noodles and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich, corn muffins or crackers.