I hate leftovers.
There. I said it. There is nothing exciting about food that didn’t get picked the first time around. Add life-chilling temperatures for a day or two and I’d rather pass. …..But I’m also not one for wasting food, and hardly know how to cook for just two people, so leftovers are a reality around here.
Similar to my love for a good “there’s-no-food-in-the-house” challenge, I’ve been trying to embrace the “leftover makeover” challenge, and today was no exception.
Adam grilled us this absolutely amazing herb-rubbed whole chicken the other day. Perfectly golden brown, with a rich smokey flavor, right on the grill! I never would have guessed you could grill a whole bird, but I have photos to prove it! #nofilter
This lovely piece of meat became a wonderful grilled chicken spinach salad with toasted almond slices. But today the bird was not looking so hot. So I started on a variation of my grandmother’s super tasty chicken dip using whatever we had in the house (and outside the house – since our herb garden is overflowing!) Then I topped it with avocado and arugula on a crostini: yum!
The combination was a pleasant surprise of flavors; interesting and balanced. A great mix of cool and creamy, zesty and fresh. A lovely weekday lunch.
This could also be great at a summer party. Either way, I would make this again in a heartbeat….because there were definitely no leftovers.
Grilling a Whole Chicken
Buy a fresh, medium-sized chicken and rub the skin with olive oil and fresh herbs. Add a few full sprigs of rosemary to the inside and more chopped rosemary on the outside. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and fresh ground peppercorns.
Prepare a hot charcoal grill. We only use wood charcoal around here and I swear it makes a huge difference. This was Royal Oak Natural Wood Lump Charcoal – Menards carries it of all places, for about the same price as those little chemical tasting briquettes. The trick is to create a hot fire, but offset the bird so it is getting indirect heat.
Per Adam: place face up, directly on the rack and keep your lovely, but impatient soon-to-be wife from opening the lid for about 30-40 minutes depending on size/weight. It’s torture for her, but the results are worth it. Let the bird rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Zesty Chicken Dip Crostini
- Grilled chicken, skin-on light and dark meat
- Little jar of pimentos (2 oz), drained
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tablespoon sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
The simple cast of characters includes chicken, herbs, pimentos, garlic and sour cream. With a certain wedding quickly approaching, I have been trying to at least think about how much cream and butter I add to things…. but who am I kidding, this would be great with a glob of cream cheese instead! I refrained and even toasted the baguette dry (not slathered in olive oil and salt as usual). [Just a couple day’s left to fit in the dress but who is counting!]
Add ingredients – chicken through garlic – to a food processor. I swear by this mini food processor attachment we have for the Kitchen Aid immersion blender; super handy! Pulse a few times until roughly chopped. I probably over blended mine, but all’s well that end’s well. [Update: I made this from scratch over Christmas and used shredded chicken instead, just lightly tossing the ingredients and it was lovely!]
Add sour cream. Pulse a few more times [or just stir if you already over-blended, like I did]. Remove the blade and stir until smooth-ish, but still with a shredded chicken texture. Season to taste. Should be meaty with a little heat and zest from the peppers, onion and garlic.
Because my texture was a bit off, I tried to recover with the I-meant-to-do-that approach of plating the food unnecessarily fancy. I.e. I scraped the food processor contents into a plastic bag, cut off the corner and “piped” the dip onto the toast. Works every time 😉
Add avocado slices, fresh Arugula and grab a summer drink.
Kate & Adam