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
- Get your oven timer or stopwatch 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.
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 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:
- This resource lets you select the ingredients you have in your fridge and finds recipes for you based on your selection.
- 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.