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Some simple uses for leftover chicken

Some meals lend themselves to leftovers either by mistake or by design. If you have leftover chicken, there are a number of dishes that can be created. Some of what will determine what to make with leftover chicken will depend on how the original dish was cooked and how much is leftover.  Here are a few ideas for using leftover chicken.

Chicken tacos

Chicken tacos make a great lunch or they may be coupled with rice, beans or other starches for a hearty main dish. Simply shred the leftover chicken, add some packaged taco seasoning and heat thoroughly. Serve on tortillas or serve as a side to other family favorites.

Chicken dip appetizer

Small amounts of chicken can be used to make some great appetizers. One of the easiest ways to make a chicken dip is to combine one cup of shredded chicken, a diced onion, one jar of salsa (8 ounces) and one cup of shredded cheese.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is hot and bubbly and the top is slightly browned. This is great with crackers or chips and may be reheated in the microwave.

Chicken soup or stew

Leftover chicken makes a great start for soup or stew and is very popular in the winter. If you have the chicken carcass, first prepare a chicken stock as the base of the soup.  Once that is accomplished, simply add your favorite vegetables and spices and cook until tender. Soups and stews are perfect for lunch or dinner and are perfect for warming up the family after a cold day of hiking. Chicken pot pie

If you are searching for the perfect winter or fall evening meal, chicken pot pie made from leftover chicken may be the ideal answer.  Not only is chicken pot pie simple to make, add a salad and bread and you have a very hearty meal.  To make chicken pot pie, simply take your leftover chicken, thickened chicken stock, potatoes, carrots, celery and peas and place them all in a casserole dish.  Your choice of “crust” includes leftover mashed potatoes, pre-packaged biscuits or pie crust that you either make yourself or one that you purchase.

Open-faced chicken sandwiches

Another idea for a great meal is open-faced chicken sandwiches. Simply prepare chicken with a thick and hearty broth (or canned gravy) and serve piping hot over slices of Texas toast, garlic bread or your family’s favorite bread.

There are countless uses for leftover chicken including chicken salad, chicken soup or appetizers made with shredded chicken. Chicken can also be diced and used as a topper to your favorite green salad as well.  The options are nearly unlimited, except by your own imagination.  Consider how the chicken was cooked before deciding what to make with leftover chicken.