Tuesday, March 23

Roasted Chicken Stuffing in Cabbage Head

Roasted Chicken Stuffing in Cabbage Head is Just Too Good!
With plenty of leftover roasted chicken from last week, I was able to make two nice meals, a chicken salad for weekend sandwiches and a...and a...what?...ah, check the fridge. There was a whole head of cabbage with a sign saying "I'm here for you!" that I just couldn't resist. (The cute ones always get the job.) I didn't really want chicken pieces for dinner and there were some day old biscuits and bread on the counter... well, you guys know what happens once the old wheels start turning. I threw the biscuits and breads into the processor and made crumbs.

Before the last spin, in went 1/8 tsp each of cardamom, mild curry powder, ground oregano, mace, and 1/2 tsp each of cilantro and mint leaves. Added 1 tablespoon butter, salt and pepper to taste, and gave it one more turn to blend. Lined a cookie tray with foil, distributed the crumbs, and roasted until lightly browned in a 400F oven.

While the crumbs were roasting, the cabbage head was hollowed out leaving about a 1/2-inch wall. The outer leaves were put in a plastic bag with two paper towel sheets to keep them fresh. The removed core was chopped for salad and put in another plastic bag, reserving 1/4 cup for my stuffing. Chicken and reserved chopped cabbage were finely chopped, along with some fresh chives from the garden, 1/2 medium onion (softened in microwave), and 1/2 cup chopped leftover veggies from Roasted Chicken

All chopped ingredients were placed in a large bowl to be blended with the following: 1-1/2 cups of leftover cooked rice, 1 cup of the fresh-roasted bread crumbs, 1/4 cup white wine, and 1 egg. This should be a fairly thick mixture but not solid because it needs space to expand during cooking. If mixture is too thin, add more bread crumbs and/or rice. Fill cabbage head, gently pressing mixture so that it fills into the sides and stop when it's even with the top. If you have it, using a doubled piece of cheesecloth, place the filled cabbage in the center, draw up the sides and secure with a rubber band.

Using some fresh mini-carrots for support, make a ring in the bottom of a pot large enough to hold the full cabbage head. (A 4-quart stock pot works well.) Place stuffed cabbage on top of carrots. Pour 1 can of chicken stock into pot, bring to a boil on stove top over med-high heat, cover, and place in 325F conventional oven for approximately 1-1/2-2 hours or until carrots and stuffing are done. Use a straw or wooden kabob stick to check. If it comes out clean, stuffing is done. [7500BTUs] OR, place in the solar oven (preheated to 225F) for approximately 2 hours, or until you're ready to remove it.[BTUs - FREE]

It's dark, but you can just see the carrots at the bottom of this stock pot. I removed the cheesecloth so you could see that it will work just as well without cheesecloth. But, you will have to be very careful removing the cooked head from the pot if you want to serve it in slices on the plate. Begin by slowly pouring out any remaining stock, holding head back with a large spatula. Tilt the pot just enough to slide the head intact but be prepared for some collapsing because the cabbage is very soft.

Crispy Top Comes from Broiler or Butane Kitchen Torch
If you like to have a crispy top like I do, remove the cheesecloth from the upper part of the cabbage head, pat top dry with a paper towel or clean cloth, then place under the broiler for a few minutes until browned. I used my kitchen torch.  I sliced the cabbage head in quarters, arranged it on the plate, torched the stuffing on my cutting board, then placed it on the cabbage bed. Chicken stock was absorbed by both cabbage and carrots. Although instinct suggests uncovering the pot for the last 30 minutes to brown the stuffing, this also dries out the upper part of the cabbage. Since I prefer my cabbage to be cooked to the same texture throughout my recipe, the kitchen torch is my hero. Do you have to buy a kitchen torch for the occasional brulee or other kitchen use? Not really. You can use your workshop propane torch, as long as you remember that it's MUCH hotter than the new kitchen torches and doesn't have a comfy hand grip. But, it is much cheaper and, if you're not a professional chef, do you really need another gadget?

Roasted Chicken, the second time around. Can you tell?

Leftovers Don't Have to Start in Your Kitchen
This type of recipe can be done with any leftover meats, whether you cooked it, yourself, or it was delivered. Remove skins, chop the meat, and have at least one vegetable that was not a part of the first meal. Cook fresh rice or any other grain, if you don't have any leftovers. And, with cabbage, you don't have to hollow out a whole head, you can simply use the outer leaves and -- voila! -- stuffed cabbage. The point is, don't be afraid to try something new. Leftovers thrown away is just money out the door. By creating a new dish from an old one, you've doubled your money's worth. And, if you've used a solar oven, you've -- well, how do you really compute FREE!



13 comments:

  1. OMG this sounds awesome-- esp. for an Easter dinner!!

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  2. I am so impressed with your use of leftovers. This is a wonderful meal.

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  3. Thanks for having stopped by. =)

    That looks yummy!!
    I wish I was a good cook to know what to do with my leftovers, or with food.... =)

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  4. Yummy. Will be back later for the recipe. Thanks!

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  5. You are far more creative / talented than me! That's great!

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  6. That looks and sounds yummy!
    Thanks again for your comments on my SITS DAY!
    I am now following your lovely blog
    Betty :)

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  7. Thanks, everyone. I love the challenge of leftovers. This is my time of year for cleaning out last year's harvest and frozen extra portions so you're going to see more.

    And, just so you know, I really appreciate your visits and comments. Thank you, again.

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  8. great way to combine what was in your fridge... looks yummy and healthy too!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

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  9. You're more than welcome. I hope you come back to visit. Have a great day!

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  10. I was commenting on your newest post & then the pic in this one caught my eye. One word...Mmmm! That counts as a word right!? lol This looks delicious! What a great idea! This is a recipe I'll definitely have to try out!
    ~Angela

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  11. Delicious! Nothing else to add, just that.

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