Calling for Emergency Leftovers

Colder weather is on the way here in the south.  Snow/Rain/Ice mix expected.

This off again on again cold and warm weather has reaked havoc on my sinuses. Fortunately, my troubles held off through Thanksgiving. The day after, it hit hard. I felt like someone kicked me in the head. I couldn’t even use the excuse “it was the wine”.   Feeling better today but not up to par. Being that we didn’t have serious Thanksgiving leftovers due to everyone getting second helpings, I decided to retrieve the emergency leftovers.

Yes…I call them emergency leftovers. These are the food items one makes extra of and freezes for times when you don’t have time to cook or feel bad or actually get too sick to cook for the family.

In my case??? I feel pretty good in fact but… I have this obsession with drippy noses.  I can’t prepare food when I have to blow my nose.  Despite that I wash my hands, it’s just a thing I have.  I. won’t. cook.   Hence the reason I’m a home chef not a professional.  A restaurant most go on because a pro chef has a huge debt to pay.  I, a home chef, can reach into the freezer and pull out an “emergency leftover.”

To start, I did in fact stick my carcass in a stock pot.  That is…my turkey carcass.

While I do have the broth and meaty pieces from the carcass, I’ve not added ingredients to it such as…celery, carrots, etc.  Later, when I don’t have a drippy nose, I’ll do that.  In the meantime, the stock with meat pieces is in the freezer.  I’ll thaw it later, add the ingredients and maybe have soup then or re-freeze for that emergency leftover day.

Today though…I’m thinking….Cream of Chicken Soup.

A lot of people are intimidated by pastry; pie pastry particularly.  One does not have to have “Pot Pie” to enjoy the comforts of cream of chicken soup. Don’t get me wrong, “Pot Pie” looks and tastes scrumptiously comforting.  In this particular case  (drippy nose syndrome) I just ladle over toast or biscuits. Or eat without bread. Add crackers if you like.  It doesn’t matter. The point is there is no need to handle raw dough.

My make ahead recipe is… Boil three to five boneless chicken breasts for about eight minutes. (I buy in bulk when Kroger’s has them on sale)  I then remove from the pot and cut into chunks.  At this time, I could let cool and freeze.   I generally open two cans of cream of celery soup and two cans of cream of chicken soup and pour  into a pan. Add one cup of water, the chicken chunks.  Bring soup to a boil then simmer a minute or two.  At this time proceed with other ingredients or let cool divide soup into containers allowing for two cups per person and freeze. This amount of chicken and soup makes for six to eight people.  Be sure to write the date on the container.

When ready to cook…add      1 ½ cups of frozen peas and carrots, teaspoon of celery seed, salt and pepper to taste.  One could add celery and carrots but when you don’t have it (or in my case drippy nose), the celery seed makes up for lack of celery and… frozen vegetables are a good substitute.

I learned from my mother, when you use something from your pantry write it down on the grocery list, then and there. Always replinish and stay stocked for those times you don’t have time or have a (drippy nose)and don’t want to handle food with your hands.

Stay warm and embrace whatever wintry mix you get.

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About Pam Rauber

Photographer, Writer, Home Chef.
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