Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Turning "Meh" into "More!": An Upcycled Meal

So, here's what happened.  For dinner last night I made this Chicken Marsala and this Panzanella Salad and we were terribly underwhelmed by both. (In the interest of full disclosure and fairness to the authors of both recipes I must admit that the only wine in the house was a box (don't judge) of Cabernet and the only bread we had was whole wheat sandwich bread and all my basil died so I had to use dried. The recipes might be great but my version was lack luster to say the least.)

Anyway, I had all this left over Panzanella salad. And the bread was all soggy and gross and I knew I'd never eat it. And Mike took the leftover chicken for lunch. All this resulted in my coming up with a new recipe using the left overs and it turned out to be much better than the original. It was really easy, although now that I've got it typed up it sounds more complicated than it was. You can make the veggie mixture ahead of time if you want.  It took about 30 minutes start to finish and I spent a good amount of time picking soggy bread out of the leftover salad. It made a ton.  Now I have a fridge full of leftover upcycled leftovers and really, that's not such a bad thing.


2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs olive oil

1 lb spaghetti

1 can artichoke hearts, drained and rough chopped
2 large tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 can black olives, drained
3/4 cup fresh basil (or in desperation, a TBS or 2 of dried)
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 can chicken broth or stock
1 tsp corn starch

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and add 2 Tbs Olive Oil. Heat over medium high and add garlic.  Combine Flour, Bread crumbs, Parmesan, 1 tsp salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.  Dredge chicken strips in flour mixture, coating well. Add to skillet and cook until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

While chicken cooks, in a large bowl combine artichokes, tomatoes, basil (if using fresh) and olives. In a small dish whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, basil (if using dried), salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over veggies and toss to coat.  (If you're using left over Panzanella use this time to pick all the soggy bread out of your leftovers... yuck.)  Add veggies mixture to hot pan. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan. Stir frequently until veggies are heated through and the sauce is starting to reduce. Sprinkle in corn starch and stir to combine. Allow sauce to thicken slightly.

While sauce simmers cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Stir cooked and drained spaghetti into thickened sauce and coat. Serve hot with chicken strips on top.

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