Grilled chicken is a healthy food choice frequently prepared on backyard barbecues for family and friends. Charcoal and gas grills add a smoky flavor to whole birds, select pieces and boneless varieties. If you have leftovers, they can be transformed into a range of tasty hot and cold dishes.
Mix canned, rinsed cannellini beans with diced grilled chicken, celery and raw zucchini. Add crumbled feta cheese, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and coarsely chopped fresh basil. Dress with a fruity vinaigrette and serve atop a bed of mixed lettuce or salad greens. To make chopped Greek salad, chop grilled chicken, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers, then season the mixture with red wine vinegar, olive oil, chopped fresh dill or oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pile the ingredients onto a bowl of chopped romaine lettuce and top with red onion, black olives and feta cheese. Make a fresh and light salad with sliced grilled chicken dressed with a light poppy seed dressing topped with chopped melon, toasted walnuts and crumbled feta. Serve on a bed of mixed salad greens.
Grilled Chicken Soups
For a warm, healthy chicken soup, add shredded grilled chicken and instant wild rice to chicken broth along with chopped shallots, celery and carrots. Cook until vegetables are tender and top each serving with a dollop of low fat sour cream and chopped fresh parsley. For heartier fare, mix a jarred, wine-based tomato sauce with chicken broth to create a gumbo-type base. Add shredded grilled chicken, diced red or green bell pepper, sliced okra, cayenne pepper and instant brown or white rice. Simmer until the rice is done.
Sandwiches and Wraps
Shred leftover grilled chicken and mix it with chopped scallions, slivered fresh mint leaves and grated carrots. Toss the mixture with a dressing made from lemon juice, Thai fish sauce, sugar, garlic and red pepper flakes. Put the mixture in warmed flour tortillas, top with shredded lettuce and roll up before serving. For a healthier wrap, use lettuce leaves instead of tortillas to encase the chicken mixture. Create a quick barbecued chicken sandwich by mixing diced grilled chicken with bottled barbecue sauce and serve it warm or cold on a crunchy sandwich bun.
Comforting Chicken Dishes
For a warm satisfying supper dish, mix diced grilled chicken with partially thawed frozen peas and carrots. Place in an ovenproof dish and top with homemade or canned chicken gravy. Use refrigerated biscuit or pie dough for the crust and bake the pot pie until the top is brown and the gravy is bubbling. Make a quick chicken entrée by combining diced grilled chicken with sautéed fresh mushrooms and folding them into a cream sauce. Serve over steamed rice or cooked pasta.
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