February 2, 2011

Chicken Salad Sandwiches and Hearty Chicken Lentil Soup

Monday, January 31, 2011

2:00 pm – Just back from grocery shopping and my bill was less than usual, plus I was in and out in less than twenty minutes. All I bought was fruits and veggies, milk, soy beverage, yogurt, and juice. And I decided that the best way to use up all of that stone milled whole wheat flour ( see yesterday’s blog) was to make my own bread, so I bought some bread maker yeast. Now to find the bread maker that has been in my basement since the dawn of time.

2:45 pm – I really need to clean up my basement. It was like an archaeological dig. But I did found my MIA Sorel winter boots, a pot I was looking for last week, and the bread machine.

3:00 pm – I put the chicken carcass in a medium pot, (there is actually a lot of meat still on it) covered it ¾’s of the way up with cold water, threw in an onion, some ends off the celery, a sad looking carrot, and about ¼ tsp (1 mL) whole peppercorns. It is now simmering on the stove. I am going to let it do its thing for about 4 hours, should give me a fairly rich stock. Chicken Lentil Soup for dinner tomorrow night.

Tip – When making homemade chicken stock for a chicken soup: use onions, celery, carrots, and peppercorns to develop the flavours, plus the chicken! Simmer for at least 4 hours.  Carefully remove chicken. Set aside to cool on a clean plate. Strain the stock through cheesecloth-lined sieve or a fine wire mesh strainer into large bowl. Press the vegetables to release more flavour. Set aside to cool. Discard veggies. Remove any chicken that is left on the carcass, place in a separate container, cover and store in the fridge until you need it. Refrigerate the stock until the fat congeals on surface, about 6-8 hours. Spoon or lift off fat and discard. Use to make your soup within three days.

Lucky me – I have a copy of Shirley Ann Holmes’ Easy Bread Machine Baking cookbook. A fellow home economist, I know her recipe for 100% whole wheat bread is going to work. Followed the directions and set the machine onto the whole-wheat cycle, wow is it supposed to make that much noise?

7:00 pm – Made my world famous Chicken Salad Sandwiches for dinner – forgot how really great that recipe is. The bread was still too hot to use so I used the rest of the commercial loaf I had.

(Note: I didn’t figure out the nutrient breakdowns for the sandwich filling or the soup. But having said that they will be in the healthy side of the food world, just because that’s how I cook to begin with)

Mairlyn’s World Famous Chicken Salad Sandwich Filling

About 1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped cooked leftover chicken

2 tbsp (30 mL) low fat mayo

1 tbsp (15 mL) plain unsweetened yogurt

2 tbsp (30 mL) mango chutney

½ cup (125 mL) diced celery

¼ cup (60 mL) diced red onion

2 tbsp (30 ml) dried cranberries

Cracked pepper to taste, no added salt please…

1.       Mix all of the prepared ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well. If it’s too dry add a little more of the mayo or the chutney, depending on your taste buds. Store covered in the fridge.

2.       Serve on either toasted or fresh 100% whole grain bread. This made enough for 4 sandwiches.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

4:30 pm –It’s really cold out and we are supposed to get a huge snow storm tonight and into tomorrow. Felt like nesting so I decided to make the soup tonight for dinner.

Hearty Thick Chicken Lentil Soup for Two

About 2 ½ cups (625 mL) of homemade chicken stock – (that’s all I got from my stock yesterday)

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

8 cremini mushrooms, rinsed and sliced

½ cup (125 mL) dried brown lentils, rinsed and drained

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup (125 mL) diced fresh parsley (I had that in the fridge!)

4 cups (1 L) fresh baby spinach, washed

5 oz (150 g) chopped cooked leftover chicken (that is two servings of protein form the Meat and Alternatives from Canada’s Food Guide)

1.       Spoon off the congealed fat from the refrigerated stock and pour it into a medium saucepan.

2.       Add diced onion, carrots, celery, and the mushrooms.

3.       Bring to the boil and add the lentils, stir, return to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the lentils are cooked, approx. 30-40 minutes depending on whether or not you have a good simmer going.

4.       After the lentils are cooked add the garlic and the parsley and simmer for 5 minutes. (the garlic will be semi-raw – if you want to cook it add it when you add the lentils)

5.       Add the spinach and stir until it is wilted.

6.       Divide the chopped chicken equally between two bowls. Ladle half the soup into each bowl. Should make two generous bowls for an all in one dinner.

7.       I served it with my fresh homemade 100% stone milled whole wheat bread.

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