Friday Night Feast - Leftovers Edition

I made an unexpected Friday Night Feast last night. I helped out during a kid's camp class at The Kitchen Workshop on Thursday. After the class was done, my cooking teacher told me he had to cancel a class and had some extra food to get rid of. Free food? Count me in!

He sent me home with a grocery bag of bone-in chicken breast halves, seasoning, tons of portobello mushroom caps, buttermilk mashed potatoes (leftover from class that day), some home made ketchup, a container of homemade marinara sauce, and a package of Oreos.

We talked through a couple of ideas on how to use the food and I was on my way.

So last night I made seasoned chicken breast halves, grilled portobello mushrooms, and potato cakes. We munched on Oreos with milk for dessert. These hardly qualify as "recipes", but I'll write them out so you know what I did.

Simple Seasoned Chicken Breast Halves

  • 1 package bone-in, skin on chicken breast halves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Your favorite rub or seasoning (I have a variety from Pampered Chef and Mrs. Dash, but for this recipe my cooking teacher gave me a sample of a special seasoning he orders from Penzeys Spices*...I can't remember what it was called)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Arrange chicken breasts on a large baking sheet. Gently remove the skin on each breast, allowing one part of it to stay attached to the breast.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over each chicken breast and spread with fingers or a brush. Apply the seasoning by sprinkling the amount desired over each chicken breast.
  4. Carefully place the skin back over each chicken breast. Put in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes (all ovens differ...so check on yours and take it out when the juices run clear and chicken is cooked through). Remove and discard the skin from each chicken breast (it may taste good, but it's bad for you!).
  5. Remove chicken from the oven and cover with foil to allow to rest for 10 minutes. You can serve it on the bone or carefully remove the chicken breasts from the bones.
I found this to be an excellent way to make chicken. Yes, using boneless skinless chicken breasts is convenient and often works quite well. But cooking chicken on the bone and with the skin gives it such great flavor. I was surprised at how moist and tender the chicken was. I am going to start using bone-in, skin on chicken more often, especially when I plan to shred it or cut it up anyway.

*Penzeys is an herb and spice distributor that has very good quality spices at a reasonable price and a variety of quantities. They also have lots of seasoning mixes that are delicious. They are mainly what we use in cooking class because of their high quality.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Caps

  • 1 or 2 packages of large portobello mushroom caps (depending on how many you are serving)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (optional interchangeable with other fresh herbs)
  1. Heat grill or grill pan to medium high.
  2. Use a damp towel to wipe down the top of each cap. Use a spoon to gently remove the "fins" underneath the cap.
  3. Combine the olive oil, garlic clove, and rosemary in a small bowl.
  4. Using a brush, apply oil mixture to each side of each mushroom cap.
  5. Grill mushrooms about 4-5 minutes on each side (or until they are "floppy" and release their juices a bit).
We love mushrooms, so this was a big hit for us. We had tons, so we stored the leftovers and plan to chop them up to add to the marinara sauce I have. We'll boil up some whole wheat pasta and have another meal made from leftovers!

Potato Cakes
  • Leftover mashed potatoes
  • flour
  • canola or vegetable oil
  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Remove left over mashed potatoes from the fridge and form into little patties (about 3 inches in diameter).
  3. Put some flour in a bowl or on a plate and lightly coat each pattie in the flour.
  4. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook on a few minutes on each side until golden brown.
  5. Serve immediately
I've made potatos cakes using flour, egg and bread crumbs before and they turn out quite tasty. But, honestly, cutting out the egg and bread crumbs lightens them up a bit and they still turn out fine.

This meal may not have been the "prettiest" as it was lacking in color, but it was really filling. I would have liked a fresh vegetable with it, but we were using what we had! I even used the left over chicken to top a salad for lunch today. I read in a magazine recently that a huge percentage of people will not eat leftovers and often through them away. If you are creative with leftovers, there is no need to waste them!

Feel free to share any creative ways that you use leftovers. You can leave a comment or email me at cookingwithaplan@gmail.com.

1 comment:

  1. YESSSSS! I always have leftover mashed potatoes, and we are usually HORRIBLE about eating them as leftovers...so I've been on a search for recipes involving mashed potatoes. THANK YOU AND I CAN'T WAIT TO TRY IT!