When life hands you lemons make lemonade. So what do you do when life hands you a tray of leftover chicken adobo? Well you put it in the fridge first off, then have a think. Do I really want to be eating this much chicken? In this form, over and over again? What can I do with this? By this time the chicken had cooled (yeah I think a bit slow). I decided to take another look at the chicken thinking maybe if I stared at it a bit the answer would hit me. I opened the fridge door, lifted up the cover a bit and stared at it, hopefully. So there the chicken sat, congealed into a block of thighs and drumsticks set in its own aspic. Aha!
So answer to the age old question of what do you do when life hands you a tray of leftover chicken adobo is obviously you make lunch meat.
As soon as I saw it sitting there the first image that flashed before me was head cheese (oh sure, I say head cheese and everybody has a negative reaction, if I call it a terrine people will fall all over themselves to get it, it is pretty much the same thing). Making it into a jellied lunch meat loaf seemed an obvious solution. I realize that this may not be patently obvious to many people anymore. However, meat set in aspic has a long culinary history in Europe dating back to at least the Middle Ages. I can also think of examples in Taiwanese/Chinese cuisine, but to be honest I do not know exactly (or even approximately) when in their long culinary history the dishes came into existence.
So I put the aluminum tray with the chicken into a low oven just to melt the aspic enough to get the chicken free. Then I grabbed a terrine, ok I grabbed a piece of tupperware that sort of resembled a terrine. I separated the meat from the bones, put the bones in a pot to make a stock for some other to be determined dish. I put meat in my fancy plastic terrine and then I poured the liquid from the tray over the meat. I pressed down on the meat with the back of a fork to make sure to get all the air out. I covered it and back into the fridge it went. 24 hours later I have lunch meat. It was pretty easy since I already knew the stock would set up and it was already heavily spiced.
You can make your own jellied lunch meat (or appetizer) loaf using whatever leftover meat you have. Be it chicken, pork, ham, beef or whatever. Use whatever spices you think goes well with the meat you happen to have. Set the whole lot in either aspic or stock mixed with Knox gelatin.
- some sort of cooked meat, shredded or cut into rather small pieces, about 3-4 c.
- some sort of flavoring, salt, pepper, herbs, spices, that sort of thing
- either a couple of cups of aspic
- or 2 T. Knox gelatin + a couple cups of stock
- Oil terrine or loaf pan or other similar shaped container. Tupperware works ok and it is easy to get the jellied meat out.
- If you have a couple of cups stock that sets up nicely (not too soft) you can use that. Just bring it to a boil, add salt and pepper and whatever spices or herbs you want. Turn it off and let it cool a bit.
- Or if you do not have stock that sets up into a nice aspic. Mix 2 T. of gelatin with 4 T. of cold water and let sit to devolve. In a sauce pan bring 2 c. of stock (instant is fine) and whatever spices or herbs you want in it to a boil. Turn it off and stir in the dissolved gelatin. Let it cool a bit until it begins to thicken.
- Add the shredded or cut up meat. Pour into the terrine, loaf pan, or aforementioned tupperware. Chill in fridge for at least 8 hours.