Skip to main content

Make Ahead Monday: Poached Chicken, plus Chicken Broth

I'm back with another Make Ahead Monday post. We eat a lot of chicken in our house, and a lot of times I'll menu plan on using leftover chicken in dishes so that I can just grill an extra breast or whatever. It's a great time saver, especially now that I'm back at work and have an hour between getting home with 2 kids and getting dinner on the table. But, to save even more time, I sometimes like to poach a bunch of chicken on Sunday and chop or shred it for later in the week, or even the freezer. As an added bonus, if you poach it with flavor enhancers like veggies, bay leaves, a little garlic you can use the poaching liquid to make broth. This is also a great way to actually use some of the forgotten veggies on their last legs! It's not quite as flavorful as broth made with bones, but it works, especially for dishes where you don't need a lot of extra flavor from the broth. I love to use it to make rice!

This is great to do when chicken is on sale as well. Just poach some chicken, dice or shred, and save for later in the week, or freeze in 1 cup portions in freezer-weight bags. This way you always have some cooked chicken ready to go. If you have some cheese tortellini or ravioli in the freezer, you can have dinner on the table in 25 minutes (the only time consuming part is boiling water to heat the pasta!) This tortellini is one of my favorite quick recipes. You can toss some frozen veggies in there while the pasta is warming up as well!

You may be asking, can't I just get a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Yes, yes you can. I do this often as well, but I like this when there's a sale, or I need chicken for other meals and carving a chicken just won't work!

Here are some great dishes that I often make using pre-cooked chicken.

One Pot Chicken Mudega Pasta Skillet
Chicken Picatta Pasta Toss
Creamy Lemon and Spinach Tortellini
Chicken Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes
Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Cordon Bleu Risotto (or any risotto!)
Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken
Chicken and Stuffing Casserole
Quesadillas

Poached Chicken
Ingredients:
Chicken
Water (just enough to cover the chicken by about an inch)
Carrots
Celery
Peppercorns
Salt
Any fresh herbs you have around

Directions:
Place chicken in a large enough pot, cover with water by an extra inch. Add carrots, celery, salt, peppercorns and any fresh herbs.

Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, until it starts to bubble around the edges of the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Remove chicken and allow to cool for a few minutes before chopping or shredding.

Meanwhile, strain the liquid in to a large bowl. Discard vegetables and herbs. Allow poaching liquid/broth to cool before storing in the fridge or freezer.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Nutella Cannoli

Nutella is something that I love, but honestly don't really eat or bake with that often, always regretting that fact each time I eat something with Nutella. Well, I am vowing to change my ways - starting with these Cannolis!  They're definitely not a traditional cannoli as the combination of cream cheese and whipped cream make them more like a cheesecake filling, or even mousse, but the cannoli shell makes them easy to grab and eat.  No fork required - my kind of dessert!


Usually I prefer to make mini cannolis because sometimes full ones are just too rich for me, however any recipe could easily be adapted to a regular cannoli shell size (or mini size if the case may be).  The combination of the cream cheese, whipped cream and Nutella definitely made these a rich bite-size dessert, that I think may become one of my go-to recipes when I need to make something quick and impressive.

Nutella Cannoli
Ingredients:
24 Mini Cannoli Shells
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sug…

Key Lime Gooey Butter Cake

I'm from St. Louis.  The home of Gooey Butter Cake.  Many people think it's a Paula Deen creation, and how could you not when you see how much butter is in it, but you can't go in to a restaurant, bakery or grocery store without seeing gooey butter somewhere in St. Louis.  We love it.  What's not to love with butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, oh my!

But, considering I've made it numerous times, I'm always up for a new variation.  Nutella?  Check!  Cookies?  Don't mind if I do!  Pumpkin?  Well of course!  While talking to my mom about what to bring to a family function, she mentioned she saw a recipe for key lime gooey butter cake.  Sold!  I've never heard of the website she sent over to me, but it looked similar to the basics of every other recipe I've used for Gooey Butter Cake so I knew I wanted to give it a try!

One thing people may not realize is that Gooey Butter Cake is very easy to make.  Just a few ingredients really!  Just mix them, ba…

Exclusive Pumping - why I did it twice, and some tips & tricks

This is a story I've been wanting to share for several years, in fact one of the reasons I decided to make the switch to more of a life blog versus a food blog. So bear with me here!

I have two children. I tried breastfeeding both of them, and was unsuccessful with both, for different reasons. One wouldn't latch. One my supply was too fast and plentiful. I tried a few things because I really really wanted to breastfeed, but it was stressing me out, so I looked in to other options, which is where I learned about exclusive pumping. 

 What is exclusive pumping (or EP)? It's when a mother expresses her milk to feed her child, rather than feeding "straight from the source". Prior to having Tyler, I knew very little about pumping, but I knew that since I planned to breastfeed and planned to work after maternity leave, I would need a pump. But that was about it. I remember the weekend before he was born sitting on my bed playing with the pump and thinking the manual was…