Friday, January 14, 2011
Yesterday's post featured a delicious oven-roasted chicken. I love a roast chicken for the fact that it can be stretched into 2 (or even 3) dinners. This chicken salad would be a perfect way to use up leftover roast chicken. Although, I have to confess, the chicken used in this wrap was actually the by-product of one of my split chicken breast processing sessions. From time to time I find split chicken breast halves on sale at my local market for as little as $.88/lb. When this happens, I purchase up to 20 lbs. and then spend an afternoon in my kitchen cutting the halves into meal-ready, boneless, skinless breast fillets for the freezer and boiling the "carcasses" into broth (recipe HERE) for future soups and sauces. I then pick the remaining meat off of the bone for chicken salad, soup, or casseroles. The 2 cups of chicken used for this chicken salad was the meat that I picked off of the bone during a Christmas break chicken processing session. You can read more about how I turned 18 lbs of chicken into 10 convenient meals HERE. It's a great way to save time (in the long run) and money!
I enjoy a good chicken salad and I am often on a quest for a great wrap "sandwich". As lunchtime rolled around one day during Christmas break, I found myself tired of leftovers, Lean Cuisine, ramen noodles, Mac n' Cheese, freezer pizza, cold cut sandwiches, and canned soup. I wanted something different and delicious. And so, I swept aside the LEGO'S and puzzles that had arrived on our little kitchen table sometime after breakfast and started hauling out the contents of my fridge to inventory and analyze for their "wrap worthiness".
First out, the chicken picked off the bone from the evening before. Second out, tortillas leftover from our most recent family "Taco Night". From there the other ingredients just fell into place: 1/4 of a leftover sweet red pepper, green onion, cilantro, shredded cheese, leftover fried bacon, ranch dressing, and barbecue sauce.
Do you do this? Pull out the contents of your fridge and get creative? The "stuff" that I need to use up is often the inspiration for a sandwich, pasta dish, or casserole. If you don't (yet), don't be afraid to get creative with your leftovers or produce that's "on it's way out"...give this a try sometime. Let your creativity flow! You may be surprised what you come up with. Waste not, want not!
After a bit of chopping, I combined the chicken, bacon, red pepper, and green onion.
Then I added the cheese, ranch dressing, and barbecue sauce. Stir it all together and scoop 1/3 to 1/2 cupful onto warmed flour tortillas (or the wrap of your choice). Top with a handful of cilantro.
Now roll it up and enjoy!
As much as I enjoyed the wrap, while I was eating my lunch I began to wonder how this filling would taste warmed up. I kept thinking of the Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip that I like so much. And so, I heated a cup up in the microwave and sprinkled it with more cheese for a tortilla chip dip. Um....YUM! It was awesome warmed up, maybe even better!
I had to leave for the evening, but on the way out I told my husband to warm the "dip" in the fridge for dinner. It was a HUGE hit with him too!
You could warm this dip in the microwave or put it into a casserole dish and bake it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through.
BBQ Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad Wraps OR BBQ Bacon Ranch Chicken Dip
2 cups shredded white meat chicken
4 slices bacon, fried until crisp and crumbled
1/4 cup sweet red pepper, finely chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or Mexican Blend cheese
1 bunch cilantro
6 flour tortillas, warmed
Combine first 7 ingredients. Put 1/3 cup of mixture on each tortilla. Top with cilantro. Roll up, then slice in half before serving.
Combine first 7 ingredients. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Heat in microwave or bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with tortilla crisps for dipping.
* Ideas for other stir-ins: black beans, chopped green chilies, or fresh corn.