Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb


There are people who don't like to cook (I know, I know, but there are also people out there who don't like science fiction. We must be tolerant.) In the Jewish world, these people survive, if they can'tafford to have others cook for them (take out, eating out, ordering in) by doing all their cooking once a week, for Shabbos. They just cook a lot of food for Shabbos - gallons of soup, flocks of chickens, and enough cholent to feed the IDF, and live off that for as long as it works. This works especially well if you entertain a lot for Shabbat and/or have a reasonable sized family. They still don't like to cook, but they cook basically the same thing every week, so it's not something that needs to be thought about.

My old rebbitzen, who was a fairly decent cook, did that. Cooked the same thing every week, I mean. But she has a huge family and always has many guests for the Sabbath, including people her husband asked at the end of services, and people who knew they could just drop by. I don't know what they ate during the week.

But to return to the main subject. Leftovers. And their uses.

I don't do that. I try to vary Shabbos dinner and I like to cook (I know. Major shock there.) so I'm happy to make things during the week, but I do like leftovers, and I will make extra chicken on Friday to get them. Chicken is great for leftovers because it's so versatile, even the way I make it, and because baked chicken reheated in a liquid gets very tender. Jonathan would be happy enough with reheated chicken, but I don't like that much.

My biggest tour de force is the roast chicken/chicken spaghetti/fritatta trifecta. I make the roast chicken on Friday. I have half left over, for whatever reason. Sunday or Monday night, I make chicken spaghetti. Chicken spaghetti is very simply a standard spaghetti sauce with shreds of precooked chicken. I invented it one night when I'd made a pareve spaghetti sauce in a fleishig pan and looked at it, and decided it needed something else, and I had leftover chicken on hand. So I shredded it and put it in the sauce. And a dish was born.

Those weeks I want to make chicken spaghetti, I'll use Italian spices on the chicken, or even make it with basil/garlic pesto.

The spaghetti's good, but I always make a lot. And so, there are leftovers. And what I'll do the next night is take those leftovers and mix them - pasta, sauce and all - with four beaten eggs and pour that into a hot, ovenproof saute pan, and put that in the oven. I cut it in wedges and it lasts two days. So a roast chicken can serve for four meals. As I said. My trifecta.

And Jonathan looks as forward to the fritatta as he does the spaghetti. So, it's a success.

Tonight, though, I'm making hash. Chicken hash.

My normal thing to do when making chicken hash is to take the bones and cook them in a sauce pan of water to make a quick stock. Also, I use leftover roast potatoes as well as leftover chicken. I saute a Spanish onion in olive oil until they're soft and browned (it helps to add a half cup of water along the way while doing this. This cooks the onions and when it boils off, they brown beautifully and sweetly). I chop the chicken and potatoes in an old-fashioned chopping bowl, using a two bladed chopping knife. I'd rather use a single bladed one, but I can't find one. I add them to the browned onions and moisten it all with the stock,and it's very, very nice.

This week, though, I did it differently. First, I had a lot of chicken juices leftover from Shabbos dinner, so we froze them. I'd flavored the chicken with lemon and rosemary, and the juices were intense in flavor. And I'd used the leftover potatoes in the salad I'd made for Shabbos lunch.

Therefore, I cooked some new white potatoes in the microwave (first time doing that. Came out wonderful) instead of using leftovers, *and* I thawed out the juices and used them instead of a fast broth. I'm serving this with a salad, and that will be dinner.

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