If it began life like this:
Came to the table like this:
Then reappeared as this:
Was the meal ever “left over”?
I say no. It’s been repurposed. Reimagined. Reconceptualized.
And it fed us twice.
Thursday’s dinner was a huge pan roast: Potatoes, carrots and fennel; slender green beans and red cherry tomatoes; skinless chicken breasts. We ate half of it.
So last night, I browned an onion and garlic in olive oil, added the previous night’s vegetables and poured in some white wine and chicken broth. Thirty minutes later, all those flavors had melded into something quite extraordinary. A quick whir in the blender and a teaspoon or so of sherry wine vinegar created a silky, earthy, creamy soup hearty enough for the prior night’s chicken (now cut into cubes) and a spoonful of my favorite salsa verde.
“Did we eat this last night?” the little boy asked.
We did not.
It’s a brand-new dinner.
Chicken & Vegetable Pan Roast
- 2 potatoes, each scrubbed and cut vertically into eighths
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into eighths
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 lemon, cut into thin slices
- 1 cup thin green beans
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- Salsa verde
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a rimmed baking sheet or a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish.
Toss the potato slices, fennel slices and carrot chunks with olive oil (1/4 cup or so). Season with salt and pepper, then place in your prepared pan.
Pat the chicken breasts dry and lay them atop the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil. Tuck the lemon slices around your pan.
Roast for 30 minutes.
Toss the green beans and cherry tomatoes with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Add them to your baking pan and roast an additional 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from your oven. Dollop the chicken and vegetables with salsa verde.
Repurposed Chicken & Vegetable Soup
You could use this technique for any veggie-heavy leftover dinner, or you could skip the first meal and go right to the second.
- 1 small onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 roasted potato
- 1 roasted fennel bulb
- 1 roasted carrot
- 1/2 cup roasted green beans
- 1/2 cup roasted cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 roasted boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sherry wine vinegar
- Salsa verde
Glaze a pot with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil and place over medium heat.
Finely chop the onion and garlic in a food processor. Add to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until the onion softens and begins to become translucent.
Finely chop all the roasted vegetables in the food processor. This is going to release some of the starch in the potato, but don’t worry that the mixture becomes a little gummy. It will soften in the pot and help thicken your soup.
Add the chopped veggies to your pot and stir well. Saute for a couple of minutes, then add the wine and broth. Whisk to incorporate.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until it’s smooth. Place it in a clean saucepan. Add the chicken and reheat.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with a spoonful of salsa verde.