Laundered Chicken

What should I do with the chicken from the chicken soup?

Now that the weather is cooling, and more families are having home cooked chicken soup for Shabbat dinner, people ask me this question all the time. In Israel, the chicken from the soup is nicknamed oaf mechubas, or “laundered chicken.” Creative Jewish housewives have been repurposing this chicken for centuries.

It is challenging to transform boiled chicken into a delicious entrée. I found some successful ways to incorporate previously cooked chicken into completely different main courses.

Chicken croquettes and chicken pot pie are two crowd-pleasers you may prepare. These dishes are excellent main courses for Shabbat dinner, following the soup. Alternatively, you may plan ahead for Shabbat and make a cold chicken salad to serve for Shabbat lunch.

Photo by tericee https://www.flickr.com/photos/tericee/

Photo by Tericee.

Chicken Croquettes

Adapted from Jeanne Gold.

  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy pot.
  2. Sauté the onions. Set aside to cool.
  3. Mix the chicken, spices, breadcrumbs, eggs, and sautéed onions in a large bowl.
  4. Heat some olive oil in the pot.
  5. Form patties from the chicken mixture.
  6. Fry the croquettes over medium heat until golden-brown.
  7. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.
Photo by edwin https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinoyed/

Photo by Edwin.

Chicken Pot Pie

Adapted from Vincy Bramblett.

  • Frozen puff pastry sheets
  • 4 cups cooked chicken
  • 3 cups chicken soup
  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 potato
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Dice the onion, carrots, celery, potato, and chicken.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot.
  4. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and potato. Sauté for about 10 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the flour into the vegetable mixture.
  6. Slowly mix in the chicken soup. Stir constantly until the filling thickens.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add the cut up chicken.
  9. Pour the chicken into a casserole dish.
  10. Cover with the puff pastry sheets.
  11. Cut a few openings with a sharp knife to vent the steam.
  12. Bake for 50 minutes.

Chicken Salad

Adapted from Food Network Kitchen.

  • 4 cups cooked chicken
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Cut up the chicken, scallions, and celery.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

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