RECIPE

Heat ‘n Eat – Five Dinners in One Day

Make five dinners in one afternoon or evening and you’re set for the week – all you have to do is heat ’em and eat ’em!

Ingredients

Day One: Roasted Chicken and Gravy with Roasted Potatoes and Veggies

  • 3 3-4-pound whole chickens, remove and discard gizzard bag
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus additional for drizzling
  • 2 large onions, thickly sliced
  • 7-8 parsnips, peeled and cut lengthwise into 8 pieces
  • 2 small bags carrots (about 2 1/2 pounds each), peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 3 pounds small Yukon Gold or red-skinnned potatoes, halved or quartered, little ones left whole
  • 6 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour

Day Two: Roasted Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

  • 4 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 of the cooked roasted chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1/3 of the cooked roasted vegetables, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups reserved gravy
  • 1 package frozen peas
  • 10-15 chives, chopped (optional)

Day Three: Tomatillo Chicken Corn Enchiladas

  • 1 jar store-bought tomatillo salsa (16 ounces), divided
  • 1 package frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1/4 of the cooked roasted chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 pound pepper Jack cheese, grated, divided
  • 1 cup reserved gravy

Day Four: Chicken and Veggie Pasta

  • 1 pound rigatoni or pasta of your choice
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus additional for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium size zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into half moons
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream (you can also use milk or half-and-half)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 of the cooked roasted chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1/3 of the cooked roasted veggies, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 2 cups)

Day Five: Italian Chicken Salad

  • 4 thick slices crusty bread
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/4 of the cooked roasted chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1/3 of the cooked roasted veggies (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 hearts of romaine lettuce, torn or chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/4 pound Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 10 leaves basil, chopped
  • 1 small jar marinated artichokes, drained
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives (a handful)

Preparation

Day One:


Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Season the chickens with salt and pepper, and drizzle a little EVOO over each one. Using two roasting pans, place the onions, parsnips, carrots and garlic in the first roasting pan and the potatoes in the bottom of the second. Add one cup of chicken stock to each roasting pan and season everything with salt and pepper. Place two chickens on top of the veggies and the remaining one on top of the potatoes. Place the roasting pan with the two chickens into the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours, basting with the pan juices every half hour or so.


*The solo chicken with potatoes will be for dinner the first night, so if you’re assembling the rest of week’s meals earlier in the day, don’t prepare the chicken and potatoes until about 90 minutes prior to dinner time.


While the chickens roast, cook up the potatoes for the Roasted Chicken Shepherd’s Pie and the pasta and sauce for the Chicken and Veggie Pasta.


For the potatoes: place the peeled and quartered Idaho potatoes in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Place over high heat, bring up to a bubble and boil for about 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and return them to the pot to dry out a little. Add the butter and milk to the pot, and smash potatoes with a fork or potato masher. 

Season with salt and pepper, and reserve until you are ready to assemble the Roasted Chicken Shepherd’s Pie.


For the Chicken and Veggie Pasta: fill a large pot with water and place over high heat to bring to a boil to cook the rigatoni. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta and cook them halfway through to al dente, according to package directions. Cooking the pasta only halfway will prevent it from being too soggy the day you’re ready to eat it. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Give the pasta a good size drizzle of EVOO, then toss and reserve until ready to assemble the roasted chicken primavera.


To add a some extra vegetables for the primavera, place a large skillet over medium heat with three turns of the pan of EVOO, about three tablespoons. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring every now and then, for two minutes. Remove the cooked zucchini from the pan and set aside. The zucchini can also be steamed instead of sautéed.


To the skillet, add two tablespoons of EVOO, the butter and the flour to make a roux. Cook the flour for a minute or so, then whisk in two cups of chicken stock and one cup of cream. Bring up to a bubble and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken. Season with salt, pepper and a small amount of nutmeg; remove from heat and reserve alongside the pasta and zucchini.


When the chickens have finished roasting, remove them to a platter and loosely cover them with foil. Allow them to rest for 10-15 minutes. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove all the skin and then the meat from the bird. Shred the chicken meat and divide it into four equal portions. Remove all but a quarter of the veggies from the pan and chop them into bite-size pieces. Divide them into three portions and reserve.


While the chickens rest, prepare the gravy: to a skillet over medium heat, melt two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of EVOO. Once the butter melts, add the 1/4 cup of flour and cook for a minute or so. Whisk in the remaining quart of chicken stock, bring up to a bubble and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken. 

Remove from heat and reserve.

Assemble the Roasted Chicken Shepherd’s Pie: combine one of the four reserved chicken portions and one of the three roasted veggie portions, two cups of gravy and the defrosted peas together in a large ovensafe casserole dish.

Top with the smashed potatoes, spreading them out evenly across the surface of the dish.

Wrap well in plastic wrap, let cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

Assemble the Chicken and Veggie Pasta: combine one of the three reserved veggies portions, the zucchini, rigatoni and one of the reserved chicken portions in an ovensafe casserole dish.

Pour cream sauce over everything and give it a little stir to get the sauce down in the dish.

Sprinkle the top with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap. 

Let cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

Assemble the Tomatillo Chicken Corn Enchiladas: combine the last reserved chicken portion with half of the jar of tomatillo salsa, the defrosted corn and half of the pepper Jack cheese. 

Place about three tablespoons of the mixture at one end of a tortilla, then tuck in the edges around the filling and roll it up. Continue until you have used up all of the filling and tortillas. Place the tortillas seam side down in a casserole or any ovensafe dish, laying them side by side. In a small bowl, combine one cup of the gravy and the remaining salsa. Pour gravy-salsa mixture over the enchiladas and top with the remaining half of the cheese. 

Wrap it up well, let cool completely and refrigerate.


Put remaining reserved veggie portion into a small container and refrigerate.


When you are ready to serve tonight’s dinner, cut chicken into eight pieces: two drumsticks, two thighs and each breast cut in half. Divide the chicken pieces between four dinner plates and serve with the roasted potatoes and the reserved veggies you left in large pieces. If the gravy has thickened up by the time you’re ready to eat, thin it out with a little chicken stock and serve alongside.

Day Two: Roasted Chicken Shepherd’s Pie


Remove Shepherd’s Pie from fridge 30 minutes prior to dinnertime. Heat in a 400°F oven until warmed through and the top begins to brown, about 30-40 minutes.

Day Three: Tomatillo Chicken Corn Enchilada


Remove enchiladas from fridge 30 minutes prior to dinnertime. Heat in a 400°F oven until warmed through and the cheese is browned, about 15-20 minutes.

Day Four: Chicken and Veggie Pasta


Remove pasta from fridge 30 minutes prior to dinnertime. Heat in a 400°F until warmed through and the top is brown and crispy, about 30 minutes.

Day Five: Italian Chicken Salad


Toast bread until golden under a pre-heated broiler or in a toaster oven. Remove and rub with garlic. While the bread is toasting, throw together the dressing and the rest of the salad.


For the dressing: combine the mustard, vinegar, Parmigiano Reggiano and a little salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the EVOO in a slow, steady stream.

In a salad bowl, combine the reserved shredded chicken, the last of the roasted veggies and the sliced red onion. Add the chopped hearts of romaine, basil, capers, artichokes and olives to the bowl. Pour the dressing over everything and toss to combine.


To assemble, place a slice of the garlic toast on a dinner plate and top it with some salad.

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Rachael Ray