Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things to do with cooked chicken

As many of my regular readers know, I have a freezer full of cooked chicken.  (Okay, maybe not a freezer full but there is a good amount of the stuff in there.)  Why?  Two words - quick meals. Proteins always seem to take the longest to cook and after a long day of chasing kids, placating clients, and trying to keep up with the mess around here, I usually don't have the time to wait for chicken to cook.  Also, cooking it ahead allows me to make chicken broth from the bones...but that's another blog entry.  ;-)

So, what do I do with my plethora of cooked chicken?  Here are a few ideas:

Chicken Taco Salad

Buy one of those "taco dry mixes" from the store and follow the instructions on the back, using the chicken in the place of ground beef.  Let cool a bit and toss with salad greens and vegetables.
Chicken Sauteed with Onion and Butter
Heat up a tablespoon or two of butter in your frying pan over medium-low heat.  When it gets good and hot, toss in an onion and a touch of garlic and let it cook until the delicious smells take over your kitchen.  Then add the chicken, stir and cover.  Cook until everything is piping hot.  I eat this by itself or over a bed of well-drained greens or broccoli.
Instant Chicken Soup

Saute onion and garlic in a stew pot.  Once they're cooked, toss in the chicken, a couple cans of low-sodium chicken broth, and your favorite soup veggies (I know someone who just tosses in a while bag of frozen veggies).  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat.  Cook until everything is done. 
Poor Man's Antibiotics
This is the variation of soup I cook when I'm sick or feeling a cold coming on.  Cover the bottom of a stew pot with oil, toss in a lot of garlic (I've used full cloves and chopped - doesn't matter) and heat on low for 20 minutes or so.  You want the garlic to sweat, not fry, so be careful.  Once the garlic is done, use something flat, like a glass or coffee cup, to smush the garlic.  Add onion, carrot, and celery and let everything cook until the onions are almost translucent.  Then add the chicken, chicken broth, and any other veggies, cover and let cook until everything is done.
Stir-fried meals are a quick option when your protein is already cooked.
Instant Meat for Casseroles
Just defrost and you have chicken to sprinkle in your favorite Paleo-friendly casserole.
Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Spanish Tortilla:
Elise over at Simple Recipes introduced me to Spanish Tortilla.  Of course, her version has a lot of potato in it, which is super yummy if you're eating potato, but since they're not considered "Paleo Friendly", I modified her method to suit my needs.  These are great to make when you need to clean out your crisper drawer - just dice and saute your vegetables until they're cooked, pour on the egg mixture, and toss it under the broiler until it's cooked all the way through.  I sometimes add cooked chicken when I want some extra protein in my meal.  Yum!
 Now it's your turn.  Do you have any good uses for cooked chicken?  Please comment below!


  1. If you're making spaghetti squash, you can use the chicken to make a quick meat sauce. Just shred or cut the chicken into pieces and toss it in as the "spaghetti" sauce is cooking. Once your squash is done - voila! Meat sauce with only one saucepot! No browning of ground meat required!

  2. Great tips! Do you buy whole chickens or parts? What is considered a good price for a whole chicken? I am never quite sure.

  3. Chicken salad is a fast option too and you can do interesting stuff with spices...i.e. curry etc..


  4. @Laydj2011 - I think price depends on where you live. In my area (San Jose, CA), I buy chicken leg quarters when they're around 60-70 cents a lb (that's the cheapest here). Rarely do whole chickens get below that here - who knows why.

    @primalpearls & Kicking Carbs - Good ideas! Thanks!


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