Friday, October 25, 2013

Cooking with Leftovers

Jollibee Chickenjoy Bucket Treats

Last Friday, good friends from Jollibee sent us two Chickenjoy Bucket Treats. Each bucket contained 8 pieces of fried chicken, and because it's just us three girls here at home, eating all the chicken pieces was a little overwhelming. We did send some to our next door neighbors (the essence of eating Chickenjoy is to provide joy, and I think the kids next door were happy for the treat), but we still had too much to eat. Thankfully, one of the buckets contained all breast parts, so after we ate our share of the chicken, I decided to take out all the breading and skin from the breast parts, flaked the meat, and store it in the freezer for future use.

What we did to the flaked chicken meat?

Pansit Bihon

Pansit Bihon
We typically use pork for our pansit bihon, but chicken was a great ingredient for this dish, too, so for dinner, mom and I shared this bowl of noodles. I truly don't know how to cook pansit bihon, so this was my mom's cooking, and because she mixed the veggie-meat toppings to the noodles, I had to fish out several vegetables and flakes of chicken.

Chicken Sandwich

Chicken Salad Sandwich
Whenever we have leftover roasted chicken, the very first thing we always do was to flake it and turn it into a sandwich spread. Typically, we just mix mayonnaise, chicken, finely minced onion, and seasonings (salt, sugar, ground pepper), but for this I also added finely chopped carrots and green bell peppers, just so we could eat carrots and green bell peppers, too! :) I didn't add any cheese to the mix to cut a little on the calorie count, but my sister would grate cheese into her sandwich before eating it.

To make the sandwich, I brushed the bread pieces with mustard, spread the chicken mix, and topped it with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce (I used a combination of butterhead and lolo rosso).


One weekend morning, I turned on the television and the network was showing a replay of one of their old shows. I wasn't able to watch the first few scenes, but the show was featuring a particular province here in the Philippines, with this empanada as it's one native delicacy. I miss cooking and eating empanada, so when I saw that mom didn't use all the cabbage when she cooked the pansit, I decided to try cooking it.

Chicken Veggie Empanada
{makes 12 pieces}

Ingredients (Filling)

  • chopped cabbage
  • chopped upo (bottle gourd)
  • chicken flakes
  • water
  • little amount of oil
  • minced garlic and onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
How to Cook (Filling)
  • Heat oil in the pan and saute onion, garlic, and chicken flakes. 
  • Add the upo and cabbage and continue sauteeing it until the upo sweats. Add water as needed - you only wanted enough water to cook the veggies with less sauce as possible.
  • Season according to your preference, and set it aside to cool.
Ingredients (Pastry)
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 125 grams lite butter (cubed)
  • 1/8 cup cold water
  • 1 egg
  • oil for deep frying
How to Cook (Pastry)
  • In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients, including the butter.
  • Using your hands, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like crumbs.
  • Add water and egg, knead until you form a dough.
  • Dust a big wooden (clean of course) board with some flour and continue kneading the dough.
  • Flatten the dough with the help of a rolling pin.
  • If you have a dumpling maker, you can just use it to cut circle pieces of the dough. Knead the unused dough and repeat the process until you have used as much of the dough.
How to Cook (Empanada)
  • One circle dough piece at a time, add about a tablespoon of filling into the upper half part of the dough.
  • Cover the filling with the lower part of the dough and crimp the sides to seal in the filling. If you don't know how to properly do this, you can opt to use a fork to seal in the dough.
  • Using a sauce pan, heat as much oil and deep fry the empanadas under low heat. Don't overcrowd the pan as the pastry could be delicate to work with.
  • Take out the empanada pieces as soon as it turns golden brown and place it on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil. 
  • Serve warm or at room temperature, whatever suits your fancy.
The recipe for the pastry, I got from BusogSarap.Com because even if my siblings and I have cooked different kinds of empanadas in the past, I wanted to make a dough with definite measurements. You can head over this site to check step by step images on how the author created her version of empanada. I used half of the recipe she originally shared because we are only three people at home, we didn't need to eat that much in one sitting and I still don't know if I will like the taste because in the past, the empanada we cooked were usually like that of Chicken Afritada (chicken, potatoes, raisins, green peas cooked in tomato sauce) or what we called "Embananas," with filling made up of mashed bananas cooked in sugar. 

I did like how it turned out. I didn't know cabbage and upo can be a great combination, and even without the chicken, it still tasted good (I created a "slave empanada" without chicken). The original empanadas I saw on the TV show didn't really use any meat, it was just a combination of cabbage and upo. If only I know from which province this was taken. Anyway, my mom said that I might have used thick dough (still had to roll it more) and it was a little hard. Well, not really hard, hard... my sister said it was actually good as is and that the butter added more dimension to the taste of the pastry, but she did agree that it needed a little softness. How to do that? I still have to figure out.

Hopefully next time I can create this with the "kaliskis" dough. 

Three meals using leftover flaked chicken. Who knew cooking with leftovers can be fun and satisfying, too? Happy weekend, foodie friends!

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}