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What to do with cooked chicken?

I have a lot of nice chicken meat picked off the bone, left from a marathon stock-making session. (It's winter here in Australia and chicken soup is in big demand!)
There is lot of meat, and it won't be needed for the soup.

What can I do to pep it up for a weekday family dinner?

The meat is tender and appetizing, but doesn't have as much flavour as it could - all the deliciousness has gone into the stock. But it is still much too good to waste.

Any and all ideas gladly received!

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  1. you can use it in a stir fry, a stew (basic, thai or maybe indian) or if you want to use it cold you can mix it with mayo and whatever seasoning you like (garlic and herbs or curry and honey maybe) and have it in a sandwich.

    1. It'll make good salads.

      The cold chicken I have in the fridge right now is going to be mixed with diced celery, cucumber and onion, and tossed with a youghurt based dressing seasoned with dijon mustard, lemon juice, paprika garlic and salt. Sometimes I'll do it with yoghurt cumin, lemon, garlic and coriander, or yoghurt and Indian lime pickle.

      You can toss it with cooked pasta, canned diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, and some crumbled feta cheese and a bit of garlic, lemon and olive oil for a fast pasta meal.

      Chicken Caesar salad - toss it with creamy Caesar dressing to perk it up a bit.

      Add it to beans and rice, with Mexican seasonings.

      1. i adore this curry chicken salad -- esp. served on a croissant. the curry powder + soy sauce creates some powerfully delicious umami, and the mayo makes it creamy. add water chestnuts and almonds for crunch, and grapes to offset the creaminess with juicy bits of sweetness. best if made ahead. just a fabulous and easy recipe.

        2 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          This approach sounds ideal - a boost of umami, which is really needed - and taste and textural contrasts to counterbalance anything the chicken may lack.

          The only problem is that it is winter here - cold, miserable and wet, and I don't think anyone is in the mood for a salad!

          So maybe I should take the principle elements of the salad, and try to use these to create a hot dish...a pilaf, perhaps? Or a riff on beans and rice?

          1. re: AnotherMother

            it is a very substantial salad. i'd be happy to eat it in winter, but you know your family. if you do deconstruct it, let us know how it turns out. it might be good in a brown rice pilaf -- with some extra nuts, too. instead of the fresh grapes, you could use some raisins.

        2. I often make risotto with arborio rice and chicken stock to which leftover chicken is added just before serving. My wife is of Italian heritage and she requires it to be very creamy so much butter and Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano is added to the risotto also just before serving. Traditional Italian seasonings add flavor to the dish.

          Buon appetito e mangia bene!

          1. risotto sounded good, and thats warm

            chicken pie r great during the winter and easy to make too..

            1 Reply
            1. re: L987

              Chicken a la king. Chow Mein. Chicken and dumplimgs and of course salad.

            2. If you like spicy, you can do a chicken version of the Korean ox tail soup. Chicken stock, garlic, scallions (lots of it), mung bean sprouts, glass noodles, kochu garu (red pepper powder) kochu jang (red pepper paste), soy sauce and sesame oil. It's a steaming bowl of spicy goodness. It'll definitely warm you up.

              1. I'll often use it in fillings:
                -shredded and tossed with a light coating of a Mexican-spiced tomato sauce for tacos, burritos or enchiladas.
                -mixed with sauteed napa cabbage, scallions, carrots and water chestnuts, seasoned with soy sauce, grated ginger, garlic and sesame oil, and stuffed into dumpling skins.
                -Spice it with cumin, coriander, cayenne, turmeric, ginger and cilantro. Make a samosa dough and add this filling to the center- it will be wonderful.

                I also second making chicken pot pie and chicken and dumplings! Also, think about other types of soup besides "traditional" chicken soup, if its not already on the brain (e.g. tortilla soup, Columbian chicken soup, etc.)

                1 Reply
                1. re: 4Snisl

                  How about sweating some peppers onions and garlic in a little olive oil, add smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, coriander, maybe a little sazon, and a splash of either white wine, water or that chicken stock thaty you just made (and a small pinch of brown sugar, trust me) great chicken taco or burrito filling

                2. Boiled chicken meat to me has as much taste as styrofoam.

                  If I were you, I would make deep-fried chicken meatballs. Shred your chicken meat, combine with some eggs, garlic, chopped onions, parsley, romano cheese, salt and pepper. Form into balls, dip into an egg wash, dredge in some bread crumbs and deep-fry.

                  1. I just made a chicken & corn chowder that your chicken would be perfect in.


                    1. Because the meat does not have much flavor, put it in a spicy or strongly flavored sauce. I like a Mexican mole sauce using Dona Maria jarred mole as the base. One part mole, two parts tomato puree and two parts chicken broth. Mix and heat the sauce, and add the chicken at the very end, cooking long enough to just heat it through. Serve over rice. Delish!

                      1. Chicken Pot Pie - chicken in a sauce laden with onions, celery, herbs and potatoes. A warm, hearty meal for a winter's day. (At least that's what I would make in the US. It's bonzer! lol).

                        1. There was a post recently on this topic. Just search "leftover chicken". Hope this link gives you some ideas:


                          1. i make a chicken spread, kinda like a ground up chicken salad... put chicken in food processor with some mayo, sour cream and season salt and grind up to spreading consistency. good for spreading on crackers or toast... maybe top with some chopped celery and/or dried cranberries.

                            1. I make chicken croquettes with the meat from the stockpot. I add chicken base to bump up the flavor, and like flavoring it with curry powder as well. Best of all is if there is leftover stuffing from a roast bird. I don't have a recipe - I sweat chopped onion in butter, saute the curry powder, add flour to make a roux, then chicken base and cream. An egg gets mixed with bread crumbs or stuffing, then combine with the cream sauce and stir in finely shredded/minced chicken. I shallow-fry or bake the croquettes.

                              1. Put it in this chicken chili: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                I've never been big on chili, but I can't get enough of this one.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: bluemoon4515

                                  i love white chicken chili, too -- no tomatoes. very cuminy, with great northern beans...
                                  something along these lines: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                2. chicken hash, chicken fajitas, chicken curry, chicken paprikas

                                  1. For leftover shredded chicken my family used to make a dressing of soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar, and a LOT of chopped garlic, scallions, and chiles. Lightly dress the chicken and eat with steamed rice. Sometimes we would get lazy and just sprinkle a bit of sesame oil and salt over the meat, which was good too.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                      real men, i'll bet you already know sesame oil is fabulous on so many things! chicken is especially good. your dish would also be good with some chinese noodles.

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        Hi, yep, sesame oil helps to replace some of the savory-ness the chicken loses in long cooking. If I was serving with noodles I would cut back on the soy sauce and add enough sesame paste to make the dressing into a creamy sauce, then toss with the hot noodles.

                                    2. We make this really yummy vegetable stew with tomatoes, okra, grated ginger, hot peppers (if you like spice), and wilted kale. I would bet the chicken would pep right up if mixed in to something like that to heat it up. Even a good red sauce, especially with a bit of wine, roasted garlic, or roasted red peppers would probably overcome the blandness.

                                      Or you could do a flavorful Asian stir fry with some veggies, tomato paste, black vinegar, soy, and shao hsing with some scallions and a little bit of Thai chili pepper. That would be awesome with some grilled baby bok choy and/or some quick fried rice.

                                      For super-quick, just mixing with a bit of mayo, good mustard, minced pickled garlic, some minced zesty pickles, capers, and a bit of fresh tarragon on some crusty bread with some greens and shredded veg would probably lift the flavor a lot.

                                      1. My leftovers oftne find their way into a sandwich.

                                        I get some sliced mushrooms frying, in butter, then throw in the strips of chicken (they need to be decent sized chunks - finger width) to heat through. Just as its ready, in goes something leafy (rocket or watercress, for example) and a dollop of mayo, cream or creme fraiche. Then it's plonked onto the bread (which I've "buttered" with Dijon mustard.)

                                        Originally a Nigel Slater "recipe" from "Real Fast Food".