Welcome to another Leftover Ladies recipe! Each post will focus on a leftover that I, Ellen, or my partner in crime, Carly, have in our fridge and how we turn it into something new! We’ll give you step by step recipes along with other resources so you can turn your own leftovers into something extraordinary.

I had some spinach that was about to turn; it was still good, but wilted and not fit for a salad. I also had a few pieces of chicken leftover and a ½ bar of cream cheese, so I found a recipe for creamy Tuscan chicken that would help me use these items. The other recipe ingredients are ones that I already keep on hand. Now, this could potentially be made with a different protein and several substitutions, so feel free to get creative if you try it out. Here we go!

For this recipe you’ll need:

  • 2 T olive oil (I use extra virgin)
  • 2 T butter
  • Any cut of chicken. I used boneless, skinless tenders
  • White or yellow onion. I used 2 small yellow onions
  • 4 cloves garlic or 2 T minced garlic
  • ½ C white wine – can be substituted with more chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, water, or white grape juice
  • ½ C chicken stock
  • ½ bar of cream cheese, cut up into chunks
  • ¾ C half and half – I was out of this so I used a splash of buttermilk, you can also use milk
  • Spinach – rinsed and drained well
  • Salt and pepper to taste for chicken
  • Optional: serve over cooked pasta

Prep:

  • Get your oven timer or stop watch ready.
  • Place all your ingredients within arm’s reach.
  • Chop up your veggies if you are using onions and/or mushrooms. I always put my produce waste in a freezer bag to make vegetable stock or compost them – another easy way to use your leftovers for good.
  • Thaw chicken, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper to taste. I like to season one side, put in pan seasoning down, and then after I put in the pan, season the other side.
  • Grab a roll of aluminum foil or pot lid for the chicken.

Directions:

1. Heat pan on medium high and then pour in olive oil and coat bottom of pan.

2. Cook chicken 5-6 minutes per side. When you are done, set aside and tent with foil or cover with a pot lid.

3. Melt butter, then add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes

4. Add garlic, cook for 1 more minute while stirring

5. Add wine and chicken stock, decrease heat to medium or medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes. This will also create a steam to deglaze the pan and get off any cooked/burnt residue from the chicken.

6. Add cream cheese to pan, whisk for 2 minutes

7. Add half and half or milk (I used buttermilk, 2 T as a substitute), stir and cook for 2 more minutes

8. Add in cooked chicken you had set aside, fold in spinach, cook for 2-3 more minutes. If you are a mushroom lover, like me, and have some on hand, I would add some mushrooms at this point.

9. The sauce should thicken a bit. Serve as is, or over cooked pasta or grains. I happened to have a cup and a half of rotini in the pantry that I boiled, drained and used as a base.

Looking for more leftover help?  Here are a few resources we recommend:

  • https://myfridgefood.com/
    • This resource lets you select the ingredients you have in your fridge and finds recipes for you based on your selection.
  • https://www.bigoven.com/
    • This resource can help you find new recipes, plan your weekly meals, and make a digital grocery list.
  • Hack Your Cupboard
    • This book is filled with easy recipes that focus on foods normally found in your cupboards.