Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chicken, Asiago, Pastitsio Leftovers

It’s dinner time and I have a fridge full of leftovers.  I hate (dislike) leftovers.  They are okay for lunch, but not for dinner.  In my head, dinner requires its own meal.  So what do I do?  I make something.  What do I have?  I have boiled chicken breast, milk, eggs, cheeses, noodles, onions and flour.  Now my dad would have made Chicken a la King with these ingredients.  That’s what we would eat when I was a kid.  And I was thinking of doing the same.  But I don’t know how to make Chicken a la King.  I know how to make Pastitsio.  So this is what I do:

·         I start boiling the water for the elbow macaroni and set the oven to preheat at 350 degrees.

·         I chop and sauté Vidalia onions.

·         I chop the chicken breast and put it in a bowl.

·         I find another pot and melt a stick of butter.

·         I put the elbow macaroni in the pot with the (salted) boiling water- I salt the water after it starts to boil.

·         I pull out a medium sized bowl and add 1 maybe 1/2 cup crumbled feta, 1 maybe 1/2 cup shredded asiago, and 1 maybe 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. 

·         I pause to find my recipe for Pastitsio so I don’t ruin the crème sauce. (And this is when I should have just stopped for a moment till the macaroni was finished and drained.  But I didn’t and my crème sauce, professionally known as béchamel, cooked too much and was too thick.  But anyway…)
·         With cookbook open to correct page… I add 8T flour (one tablespoon at a time) and whisk into the butter.
·         When the butter/flour is smooth and turns brown, I slowly add 4 cups of warmed (from the microwave) milk.  We had fat free in the fridge.  You have to stir it over a med heat till it thickens.
·         I then add 4 eggs.  The recipe calls for 4 eggs or 6 egg yolks.  To be honest I didn’t want to mess with leftover egg whites (maybe because I don’t like leftovers) so I used the whole egg.  Keep stirring over a LOW heat till thick.  Now you can add salt and pepper.   
·         At this point, add the chicken to the translucent onion and season.  This time I chose to use a shake or two of ground turmeric, ground garlic and salt.
·         Now assemble.  In a large buttered casserole dish, add:               
o   ½ the macaroni
o   1/3 of the crème sauce
o   spread out the chicken mixture
o   then the cheese mixture
o   the rest of the macaroni
o   and the rest of the crème sauce.
·         Put in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes.  This is a good time to clean the pots and bowls, then with a clean kitchen you can enjoy your dinner. 
This dish is great because after it’s done cooking  it retains the heat for a while after you take it out of the oven… so if your salad isn’t ready or the table isn’t set yet, you still have time before you serve. 



Vassi said...

I'm still learning how to post a comment.

Anonymous said...

This sounds great. I love asiago cheese! Blog on.