This post is sponsored by Duke University Doctor of Physical Therapy Division, The Hilton Hotel in Durham, NC. Also, a very special thanks to Miss Sarah Dickey, Laura Good, Haley Harrell, and Elizabeth Schuppert for their donations in support of this endeavor.
Today I made BANK in the food world. Why, you ask? Well, we had a career fair for school and at the end of the fair, they served us boxed lunches. Know what that means? That means lots of leftovers. And lots of prepackaged food items that my friends didn’t want. Proof of this lies in the image below. And no, I was not just REALLY hungry today. I knew that I could stretch the bajingles out of that meal, ya’ll! For some reason they didn’t like their green apples and oranges, so I reaped the benefit. Then, when I saw students walking out with two or three extra boxes in their hands, I jumped on the opportunity to take an extra box (or two), knowing that it would make my life all the easier when packing lunches for the rest of the week. Hey- free is free, right?
I ended up hauling three wraps- one roasted veggie, one turkey/swiss, and one turkey/cheddar, about four bags of chips, about 6 apples, and three oranges. And two cookies. And like six little packets of mayonnaise and mustard. I even saved the three plastic knives.
Oh, and the tomato slices that Laura didn’t want. Yes, really. I pulled out a ziplock bag from my purse, wrapped those babies up in some napkins so they wouldn’t get too soggy, and added ’em to the mix! If you’re wondering why I would go so far as to even take someone else’s discarded sandwich tomatoes, you can read about the Great Tomato Shortage of April 2014 here. 🙂
My goodie bag, thanks to some very precious friends and obvious supporters of this post! (Ok, they only made fun of me a little bit). I’m mostly not crazy.
Lunch: half of a marinated veggie and hummus wrap from the career fair lunch, toasted, on top of some spinach and peeled carrots. Drizzled with balsamic reduction, with leftover pita chips and fruit on the side.
Now, I’m pretty stoked about my dinner creation tonight. As I was sitting in Starbucks this evening, thinking, what should I make for dinner? I made a mental list of the things that we had in our fridge. How can I use up all those green apples? What about the mustard packets? It dawned on me to make a honey mustard apple chutney of some sort, and I began racking my brain (and google) for inspiration. I decided to use up the frozen pierogies that we have in our freezer to make a sort of lasagna-esque chicken casserole with brown butter apple chutney and maple dijon mustard sauce. What better way to recombine ordinarily boring ingredients into something new and tasty?
Here’s what I started with (plus some frozen chicken breasts).
I started by browning some of the apples in butter, and added some cinnamon, nutmeg, apple cider vinegar and a drizzle of soy sauce.
Then I added the piergoies to sear them a bit so they didn’t take so long to bake.
I removed the pierogies and apples from the pan and set aside for later. Then I split the chicken in half (after defrosting) so that the breasts were half as thick. I salted/peppered the chicken and seared them on both sides- about 3 min each.
I deglazed the pan with some leftover moscato wine, and continued to cook the chicken with heat reduced to low.
Mixed up the maple dijon sauce with some spicy brown mustard, whole grain dijon, regular dijon, a bit of soy sauce, and maple syrup. I wish I could tell you how much of each, but I just eyeballed it!
I added the apples back to the pan with the sauce, and tossed in a few raisins for plumping.
To prepare the lasagna, I first layered the pierogies in the bottom of a sprayed casserole dish. I sprinkled a little of the leftover fontina fondue cheese on top.
Then I topped it all with the chicken and apple chutney mixture and sprinkled some mozzarella cheese and walnut pieces on top.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until bubbly.
And here you have it- Maple Dijon Chicken Pierogie “Lasagna” with Brown Butter Apple Chutney! Served over spinach and peeled carrots (I bought more spinach today- it’s one of my exceptions, remember?)
Thanks for following my journey so far- Day #3 and another mash-up in the books!