Roast Chicken Stock

(Makes about 8 cups)

There are two basic types of chicken stocks -- those made from raw chicken parts and those such as this recipe that salvage the leftover bones and meat from a roast chicken. The more meat left on the bones, the more flavorful the stock.

2 roast chicken carcasses (bones and any remaining meat left on the bones)

4 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces

4 stalks celery, cut into large pieces

2 onions, peeled and quartered

2 whole cloves, stuck into the onion pieces

2 sprigs fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

About 16 cups cold water

Salt to taste

In a large pot, combine the chicken carcasses, carrots, celery, onions studded with cloves, parsley and bay leaf. Add enough cold water to cover. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Using a spoon, skim and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 21/2 hours. Season with salt to taste and simmer gently for 30 minutes more. Remove the pot from the heat; set aside to cool slightly.

Strain the stock through cheesecloth, discarding the solids. Set the stock aside to cool.

Cover and refrigerate the stock. When it is completely chilled, you may easily spoon the congealed fat from the surface of the stock. (May refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Ingredients too variable for meaningful nutritional analysis.

Creamy Chicken Salad

(4 servings)

During spring and early summer months, I like to serve this salad mounded on young lettuce leaves. All other times of the year, I serve the salad spooned onto radicchio leaves or tucked into toasted pita bread.

To facilitate dicing the dried fruit, before slicing, pour a few drops of vegetable oil onto a paper towel and then coat the blade of the knife.

About 1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

Squeeze fresh lime juice

11/2 to 2 cups diced cooked chicken (from 1 whole breast)

1/2 to 3/4 cup diced dried apricots (about 10)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard and lime juice. Add the chicken, apricots, onion and parsley and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir again. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Per serving: 382 calories, 13 gm protein, 21 gm carbohydrates, 28 gm fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 479 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber

Chicken Croquettes

(Makes about 20 croquettes)

These croquettes are a sort of homemade, unprocessed, flavorful Chicken McNugget. You can add a pinch of finely chopped garlic or herbs to the mixture, and a bit of butter mixed with the frying oil gives the croquettes a richer flavor.

1/4 cup milk

1 thick slice country bread (or 2 slices regular white bread)

2 cups cooked chicken

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

Handful fresh parsley leaves

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup (about 1 ounce) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or other Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

About 3/4 cup dried plain bread crumbs

Vegetable oil for frying

Butter for frying (optional)

Place the milk in a small bowl, add the bread and set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the chicken, onion and parsley until the mixture is finely chopped but not pasty. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl.

Squeeze the bread to remove any excess milk. Add the bread to the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Add the egg, cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, mix until completely combined.

Have ready a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled or lined with wax paper. Shape about 11/2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture into an oval about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long. Transfer the shaped croquette to the sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken mixture.

Place the bread crumbs on a plate and roll each croquette in the crumbs until completely coated, pressing if necessary so the crumbs adhere. Return the croquettes to the sheet.

Have ready a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towels.

In a large deep-sided skillet or pan over medium-high heat, heat about 1/2 inch oil until hot but not smoking. To test the oil, add 1 croquette; the oil is ready if it immediately begins to sizzle. If desired, add the butter to the oil. Add several croquettes to the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry, turning once, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the croquettes to the baking sheet to drain; repeat with the remaining croquettes. Season with salt and/or pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Per croquette: 93 calories, 6 gm protein, 6 gm carbohydrates, 5 gm fat, 26 mg cholesterol, 1 gm saturated fat, 174 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

(Makes 4 to 6 enchiladas)

This enchilada dish can be tossed together in virtually no time at all, and a salad of oranges and red onion sprinkled with olive oil can be arranged while the enchiladas bake.

I find that two enchiladas constitute a portion; if you prefer a heartier serving, divide the filling among four, not six, tortillas.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional for the dish

1 to 2 cloves garlic

4 scallions (white and tender green parts), chopped

15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Few drops freshly squeezed lime juice

1 cup diced, cooked chicken

4 to 6 large flour tortillas

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

About 1 cup green (tomatillo) salsa

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8- or 9-inch-square baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and scallions and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the drained black beans and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, mash the beans. Add the chipotle, salt, cumin and lime juice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the chicken and toss to combine; set aside.

Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Heat the tortillas, 1 at a time, until softened and flexible, about 10 seconds per side. Working 1 at a time, spoon one-sixth or one-quarter of the black bean-chicken mixture along the center of the tortilla, then sprinkle with about 1/4 cup of the cheese. Roll the sides of the tortilla over the filling and place it in the baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Sprinkle the rolled tortillas with the remaining cheese and pour the salsa over the top. Bake the enchiladas until the salsa is warmed through, about 20 minutes.

Per serving (based on 6): 423 calories, 23 gm protein, 34 gm carbohydrates, 22 gm fat, 53 mg cholesterol, 9 gm saturated fat, 993 mg sodium, 6 gm dietary fiber

Chicken and Vegetable Cobbler

(6 servings)

Though I've included my classic cool-weather cobbler recipe, it can be made more spring-like by substituting new potatoes, young onions, baby carrots and peas for the heartier root vegetables.

For the filling:

4 to 5 cups diced vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, potatoes, onions, celery root, fennel, corn (I prefer 2 carrots, 3 small turnips, a handful of small potatoes, 3/4 of a red onion and 1 celery root)

1 to 2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme or tarragon

1 cup chicken stock or broth

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

For the dough:

13/4 to 2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup buttermilk or heavy (whipping) cream or a mixture of both

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

For the filling: In a 2-quart or 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine the vegetables, chicken and herbs and toss to combine.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the stock and cornstarch and mix until no lumps remain. Pour the mixture over the chicken-vegetable mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Sprinkle the butter evenly over the mixture. Set aside

For the dough: In a food processor or a large bowl, combine 13/4 cups flour, the baking powder and salt. Add the cold butter and process or mix with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk or cream and, using a fork, gently toss the mixture just until a dough begins to form.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured piece of wax paper and knead briefly just until soft but no longer sticky. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a shape just slightly larger than the baking dish. Slide your hands or 2 spatulas underneath the wax paper and carefully flip the dough over on top of the vegetable mixture. Peel off and discard the sheet of wax paper from the top of the cobbler. Carefully tuck any excess dough around the side of the dish underneath itself.

Bake the cobbler in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and the vegetables are tender. Set aside to cool slightly prior to serving.

Per serving: 529 calories, 24 gm protein, 53 gm carbohydrates, 25 gm fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 12 gm saturated fat, 880 mg sodium, 4 gm dietary fiber

Chicken Hash

(4 servings)

I like to serve this hash topped with a fried or poached egg -- and lots of hot red pepper sauce.

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups diced, cooked chicken

1 pound small potatoes, boiled, cooled and diced (no need to peel)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Ground paprika and/or cayenne pepper to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs (I prefer parsley and thyme)

1/4 cup finely chopped scallions (white and tender green parts)

1/2 cup table or heavy (whipping) cream or half-and-half

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook just until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, potatoes and salt, black pepper, paprika and/or cayenne pepper to taste. Add the onion mixture, herbs and scallions and stir to combine. Turn the mixture into the skillet and use the back of a spatula to press down gently. Cook over medium heat until a crust forms on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour the cream over the top and, using the spatula, turn the hash in chunks, breaking up the mixture and making sure the cream is mixed in evenly. Cook until a crust forms again, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the hash again, in the same fashion, and flatten again and cook until the mixture is browned and crusty on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve hot.

Per serving (using half-and-half): 491 calories, 35 gm protein, 35 gm carbohydrates, 24 gm fat, 122 mg cholesterol, 8 gm saturated fat, 693 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber

Chicken Caesar Salad

(4 servings)

This is my take on the classic -- slightly salty and completely simple.

1 large head or 3 individual hearts Romaine lettuce, washed and torn or cut into bite-size pieces

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

About 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

4 to 6 imported anchovies marinated in olive oil, chopped

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Juice from 1 lemon

Dash Worcestershire sauce

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

About 1 cup shredded, cooked chicken

1/3 to 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) shaved or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Place the lettuce in a large bowl; set aside.

Using a mortar and pestle or on a cutting board using the flat side of a chef's knife, mash the garlic with about 1 teaspoon salt until a paste forms. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard and anchovies and mix until completely incorporated.

Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream and whisk until the dressing is completely emulsified. Pour the dressing over the lettuce and toss to coat. Squeeze the lemon juice over the lettuce and toss again. Sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste and toss again. Top with the chicken and cheese and serve immediately.

Per serving: 441 calories, 18 gm protein, 6 gm carbohydrates, 39 gm fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 8 gm saturated fat, 1,200 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber

Chicken Chili

(Makes about 10 cups, 6 to 8 servings)

I serve this chili with bowls of grated cheddar, sour cream, chopped scallions and diced avocado for diners to add themselves.

Adapted from "The Taste of Summer: Inspired Recipes for Casual Entertaining" by Diane Rossen Worthington (Chronicle, 2000).

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large yellow onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and minced

1/4 cup chili powder

11/2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

12-ounce bottle beer

11/4 to 2 cups chicken stock or broth

28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice

Meat from 1 roast chicken, shredded or diced

15-ounce can pinto or red kidney beans

15-ounce can chick peas

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, grated

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander and cinnamon and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Pour in the beer, 11/4 cups of the stock and the tomatoes with their liquid. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until somewhat thickened, 30 to 40 minutes. Add the bell peppers, chicken, beans and chick peas and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes more, until peppers are tender and the chicken has begun to fall apart. If the chili thickens considerably, you may add up to 3/4 cup additional stock to achieve the desired consistency. Add the chocolate and stir until it is melted and completely incorporated into the chili. Season with salt and stir well. Serve hot.

Per serving (based on 8): 402 calories, 32 gm protein, 37 gm carbohydrates, 14 gm fat, 71 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 1,011 mg sodium, 11 gm dietary fiber

Chicken Noodle Soup

Bring 4 cups chicken stock to a simmer. Add 2/3 to 3/4 cup angel hair pasta, broken into pieces, about 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken and simmer until the pasta is al dente. Add a couple of handfuls of baby spinach leaves or chopped escarole and cook until wilted. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Makes 2 to 3 servings.

Pulled Chicken Sandwich

Place about 3 cups shredded cooked chicken in a saucepan and add enough of your favorite barbecue sauce to coat it well (about 11/4 cups). Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, just until the chicken is heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon the barbecue onto split toasted buns. Makes 4 servings.

Not-Quite-Classic Cobb Salad

In a large bowl, gently combine 2 cups diced cooked chicken, 1 head chopped Romaine lettuce, 10 halved cherry or grape tomatoes, 1 peeled, pitted and diced avocado, 4 slices cooked, crumbled bacon, 1 finely chopped hard-cooked egg and crumbled Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette (I use 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste). Makes 2 main-course servings.