Amazing Ideas for What to Do with Leftover Adobo and Fried Chicken

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

We definitely shouldn’t be wasting food. Even without our mothers admonishing us to clean our plates out of consideration for the starving orphans in their impoverished country of choice, food security and frugality should be top priority. The food on our dining table represents our hard work, and letting it go to waste devalues the effort needed to bring it to the table in the first place.

However, at the same time, estimating how much to cook and figuring out portion sizes for each member of the family can be very difficult. It’s often much easier to cook more than what’s actually needed, then set aside whatever’s left for another day. But what happens when you’re made to eat the same dish for the third night straight, simply because that’s what was available?

If this sounds like a familiar issue to you, you’re in luck. Here are some great ideas for turning tired old leftovers into dishes you’d look forward to having.

Last Night’s Adobo Is This Morning’s Breakfast

We get it. Your mom’s adobo recipe is the best in the city, country, planet, or solar system. But no matter how good it is, you’re likely to want something else if you’re having it for the fourth night in a row.

Give your favorite Filipino braised dish a fresh treatment by turning it into adobo flakes, which the whole family will look forward to for breakfast. To make this dish, start by stripping the chicken meat from the bones, and if your adobo has pork, break those pieces of meat into smaller pieces. Then, put all your meat in a bowl and shred it. You can do this by tearing the meat apart with two forks.

Once your meat has been flaked and no large chunks remain, heat an oiled skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to sizzle, put in the meat, and press it into the skillet so as much of it comes into direct contact with the cooking surface as possible. Mix it and toss it every so often, but not too much; you want to allow the meat to toast and crisp up. You may also have to scrape the bottom of the skillet to extract all the burny, toasty bits (which are full of flavor, so don’t waste those).

Once your meat has browned and toasted evenly, it’s ready to serve. Be sure you have plenty of fried garlic rice and sunny-side up eggs to go with your adobo flakes, and provide some of the braising liquid as a sauce on the side as well. You can also serve the sauce as a drizzle on either the rice, or on the adobo flakes themselves, for added flavor.

Pro tip: Adobo flakes are also great as a filling for rolls and pandesal!

Fried Chicken Becomes a Handy Sandwich Filling

Fried chicken, whether store-bought or homemade, makes frequent appearances on Filipino dining tables, and with good reason. When it’s done right, the combination of crunchy, fatty skin with the heartiness and delicate flavor of the meat makes it a mealtime winner that appeals to kids of all ages.

Unfortunately, day-old fried chicken is not nearly as enticing. The skin, once crisp and golden, becomes flabby and lifeless, and the meat is usually dry and bland after spending the night in the fridge.

Make old fried chicken pieces delicious again by turning them into the base for chicken salad, which can be great as a sandwich filling or even just on its own. Begin by stripping away all the meat on the chicken bones (you can also save the skin and turn that into cracklings). Once the meat has been extracted, how you prepare it for your sandwich will be up to you and your preferences. You can slice the meat into chunks, giving you a heartier filling, or you can shred it, making it easier to spread on bread or rolls. Whichever you prefer, remember to add a fatty dressing to your chicken salad. The chicken meat will probably have dried out a little, so reintroduce some moisture into it with mayonnaise, yogurt, or ranch dressing.

Once you have your basic filling prepared, you can modify it however you like. Adding in some cubed apples and halved walnuts will give you the starting point for a classic chicken Waldorf salad, while mixing in some ground cumin, chilli, and garam masala will give you a filling for a chicken tikka wrap. You don’t even have to include the bread, if you’re watching your carb intake. Just make a big batch of this and pull it out as a quick lunch option. As an additional note, all of these treatments are great for leftover roast or baked chicken as well.

Dinner doesn’t just have to be a matter of combing through the fridge and reheating whatever’s in there. With some creativity and a willingness to experiment, almost any dish can be remade into appealing new versions that present new flavors and textures. Try these out, and see which of them will be your next favorite!

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