The Life of Luxury on Leftovers
Nothing turns me on more than having a lavish meal on accident, not spending a penny that you hadn’t already spent on a previous meal. Well, that just happened today. Yesterday I made a practice batch of puff pastry to help me prepare for the holidays and today the little pastry shells I made from it were just as good…still very fresh. I wish that yesterday I would have thought to thaw some chicken and make Chicken-a-la-King. Today, all I had was some stock that I saved from several days ago and a piece of chicken thigh. There were also a few odd vegetables in the crisper. Carrots and broccoli would add a good bit of color. So it seemed that I would have something like Chicken-a-la-King after all.
Often in the day it’s just me to feed for lunch and today was one such occasion. With about a third cup of the stock, a tablespoon or two of flour, salt, and pepper I made a roux in the skillet then added water and simmered everything into sauce over low heat. I pulled apart pieces of the chicken and tossed them in. For the veggies, I quickly softened them in the microwave for a minute then tossed the colorful tidbits into the skillet to finish simmering for a few more minutes. The pastry shell was large enough to accommodate a good helping of this saucy chickeny mixture and once the sauce was thick enough, I spooned it into the pastry shell and let me tell you, it made an amazing lunch! There was even enough for another serving for someone else.
I could have easily gone out to buy something convenient to eat or worse something extravagantly fancy and expensive. Either way I would have spent a fair bit of money needlessly, when I had a meal fit for royalty in my own comfy home for nearly nothing. Even if you make this with store-bought pastry, 12 oz. of pastry is nearly $7.oo. Homemade, it’s more like .75¢ per pound (1lb.=16 oz.). You can have champagne taste on a beer budget simply for the love of cooking.