Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bolognese Part Three; Sloppy Joes?

This is the third and final way that I found to use my bolognese leftovers. I'm sure I could have come up with more delicious ideas but alas, I used the last of the leftovers making this dinner so more applications for leftover bolognese will just have to wait until the next time I make it :) Ironically enough, the idea for this flavorful explosion of bolognese, shredded chicken and bacon came from my sister Robin, who is a vegetarian.

To make the bolognese sloppy joes:

Begin by seasoning five thin sliced chicken breasts with salt and pepper at least half an hour before you're ready to cook. When you're ready to cook, bring a thin coating of olive oil up to medium heat and cook the chicken breasts for about five minutes on each side. Remove them to a plate and place them in the fridge to cool. In the still hot skillet, cook about five strips of bacon (you can obviously use however much bacon as you like, but I got a pretty decent bacon flavor with five strips). Set the bacon aside to cool as well.

You will use the same (still hot) skillet to reduce down the bolognese leftovers. You need at least three cups of bolognese for this dinner. You should remove the bacon grease from the pan before you add the bolognese. Place the bolognese in the skillet and let it heat up, stirring occassionally. You will also want to add at least half a cup of ketchup; this thickens the bolognese and sweetens it a little. You should increase the heat to medium/high to get it bubbling slightly.

While the bolognese is bubbling, return your attention to the meat. You are going to shred the chicken by using two forks to pull it apart into strands. This may take awhile and feel a little tedious, but the difference in texture versus dicing it is so remarkable that you really must do it. After you have shredded all of the chicken, crumble all of the bacon strips.

You may have noticed that the bolognese is slightly less in the pan; this is good. Just like when we cooked the original pot of bolognese, reducing it this way really enhances the flavor. You may now add in all of the chicken and bacon and stir until it is thoroughly incorporated. Once you have all of the ingredients bubbling away in the skillet, cook until the mixture achieves the consistency you want. It can be finished/served at any time.

And there you have it! Sloppy joes, definitely not the way your mother used to make them. You get to eat an extremely super delicious dinner and use the rest of your leftovers. This one was a huge crowd pleaser with every member of my family, and the leftovers of this leftover dinner extraordinaire made a delicious lunch the next day. I served it on wheat bulky rolls.

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