The Art of Creating a Second Meal from the First

We are all fans of the two-for-one concept.  It just makes sense to pre-plan as you are cooking.  When we finish the grilled meats,  I often have a plan for the remaining meats that will change up the menu...

We are all fans of the two-for-one concept.  It just makes sense to pre-plan as you are cooking.  When we finish the grilled meats,  I often have a plan for the remaining meats that will change up the menu and give us a second dinner.  The chicken favorite is a Chicken Pot Pie and with the left-over lamb a Provencal Lamb Ragout finished with Rosemary.  Peasant food in a second form from the original grilled and flavored meats.  Once again, you start with great flavors and build upon them in the second dish.

Grown-Up Chicken Pot Pie
Grown-Up Chicken Pot Pie

As I have mentioned before, I am a fan of roasting vegetables and this is yet another place where the roasting adds so much flavor to the recipe.  I limit my vegetables to the ones best liked at this house and add the appropriate seasonings.  In the quest for creating healthy and flavorful, I only do a top crust and many colleagues suggest Phyllo/fillo dough over pastry dough to cut down these calories and fats even more.   That rich pastry crust is hard to resist on a Chicken Pot Pie.  This is our family favorite.

For this recipe, I would also suggest using the bones of the chicken carcass to create a rich stock.  Here is a link on how to create a rich stock using the crock pot.

 Grown-Up Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

  • Box of prepared pie dough, thawed

Or

  • About 5 sheets of Phyllo/Fillo Dough, thawed
  • About 1 pound of left-over chicken, cubed and set aside
  • ¾ - 1 cup onions, diced and roasted
  • ¾ - 1 cup celery, diced and roasted
  • ¾ - 1 cup carrots, diced and roasted
  • 4 – 8 cloves garlic, roasted
  • ½  -  ¾ - cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • About 1 ½ cups of chicken stock, homemade preferred.  See stock recipe link above.
  • 5 – 7 springs of fresh thyme, leaves removed

OPTIONAL:  5- 7 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.  In my quest for healthier, I do not use this added cheese. The flavors of the wine and thyme are excellent together and the cheese is not missed.

Directions:

  1. Chop the pre-cooked chicken.  Set aside.
  2. Roast the vegetables at 395 degrees for about 30 minutes on Convection Roast to caramelize.  The garlic cloves will be done first, check on these after about 15 minutes.  Here is a Link to Roasting Vegetables.  Mash this garlic with a fork.
  3. Create your roux with the flour and the wine in a sauté pan.  Then add the garlic that you have mashed with a fork and then the remaining vegetables.
  4. Then add in your cubed chicken and fresh thyme.
  5. Then slowly incorporate the chicken stock.  I like my Pot Pie rather tight so I do not use as much stock as others.
  6. If you are adding the cheese, add and incorporate as the final step.
  7. Pour this mixture of goodness into a deep pie plate.  If there is any extra, add these to small serving bowls, creating individual Pot Pies.
  8. Top this with Pie Dough that has been thawed or Phyllo/Fillo Dough that has been thawed.
  9. If you opt for the Phyllo/Fillo dough brush each layer with equal parts of melted butter/olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Create a large square that you can top this Pot Pie with as the finisher.
  10. I will beat an egg and create and egg wash if I am using the Pie Dough.
  11. Bake at 350  - 400 degrees in a preheated oven for about 35-45 minutes for the pie dough.  Refer to the package directions or about 15 – 20 minutes for the Phyllo /Fillo Dough.
  12. Either way, serve hot and with a big side salad.  This is the perfect comfort food!

Lamb Ragout
Lamb Ragout

Lamb Ragout

Save the bone within the Leg of Lamb, and make a rich stock to really make this Ragout even more flavorful and delicious.  Here is a link to how to make a Stock.

In this case, I would just cover the lamb bone with water adding large onion skins, carrots, celery, garlic and some stems of fresh rosemary.  Simmer this on the stove for about 2 hours.  Saving any remains of meat for the Ragout and straining this rich amber liquid for use in the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 pounds of roasted lamb, diced and set aside.  Adding in any meat from the lamb stock and reduction.
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 – 3 onions, chopped
  • 4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups prepared lamb stock
  • ½ cup red wine.  I always keep left over wine in freezer bags in my freezer for these uses.  A snack size bag is a great size to have some wine available for seasoning.
  • 6 – 8 new red potatoes, quartered.  Other potatoes will work too, just use fewer.
  • 28 ounce can Italian crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
  • 4 springs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 can black olives, drained and sliced in half
  • 8 – 10 parsley springs, chopped

Directions:

  1. Saute the onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes in a Dutch oven.
  2. Add in the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes or so until fragrant.
  3. Add in the meat, potatoes, tomatoes, oregano and rosemary and the wine.  Stir together to incorporate all the ingredients.  Add enough stock to cover this Ragout.
  4. You can continue this cooking on the stove top for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened or you can bake this in the oven for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Once, we had some leftover potatoes that we mashed instead of cooking the potatoes within this Ragout and that too was wonderful with this rich gravy.
  5. Finish the final 10 minutes with the black olives added.
  6. Garnish with Parsley.

Serve with a Side Salad. This is also good with Greek inspired Tzatziki sauce and Pita bread as a side.

I love it when one meal miraculously makes two!  The flavors are very different and excellent.

Do you have a recipe that makes “two-for-one” meals that you are willing to share?

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