the art of leftovers

Back in the early days of my two-year stint as a househusband, I asked my friend, Ant Johnston, for any recipes he’d recommend for a culinary beginner like me.

Ant, in one of his many professional incarnations, used to be a restaurant cook. He recommended stuffed chicken breasts:

You butterfly cut a chicken breast (see this YouTube video if you don’t know what that means), stuff it with baby spinach, mozzarella, and prosciutto, tie the whole thing closed with butcher’s string (I made the mistake of looking for such a thing at a butcher shop; turns you can buy it at the hardware store!), and

Put all that in the oven at 425 for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes […] drop the heat to 350. Leave it in the oven till it’s done.

One thing to note is that if the pan starts to dry up, you should add some white wine or water to it to keep things moist. In fact, I’d even say cover the pan the first 35 minutes, and then uncover it after that. Just keep poking your head in the oven every 8-10 minutes (no sooner or the heat won’t stay stable in the oven)

(Yes, in fact, I do log all my instant-message conversations.)

The result is delicious, especially served on a bed of baby spinach, but what I really love are the leftovers. The next day, take the cold stuffed chicken breast out of the fridge, cut it up into little pieces, and make it into a fancy chicken salad, rolled in a warm tortilla for a quick chicken wrap.

The other night, my wife decided to make Ant’s recipe for dinner, and the next day I tried something new for the chicken-wrap phase: when we splurge and buy sushi for dinner, we always buy extra wasabi and extra ginger, because the amount that automatically comes with the sushi isn’t enough for our tastes. But the extra is always too much and it ends up sitting in the refrigerator for months and months. By the time we eat sushi again, we buy new wasabi because the old stuff is all dried out. But I thought it might mix well with mayonnaise to make our own wasabi mayo. A lot of old wasabi mixed with a little mayonnaise makes a surprisingly mild (but delicious) wasabi mayo, and that combined with the fancy cut-up chicken leftovers makes an intense chicken wrap.

I highly recommend it.

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2 Responses to the art of leftovers

  1. Hilary says:

    Sounds delicious . . .

  2. Pingback: Quick easy dinner recipes and dinner ideas. » Blog Archive » the art of leftovers

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