Bad as in good bad that is. You will be one BAD mamma-jamma or BAD to the bone once you get some of these big ideas under your belt. It takes a little more than wishful thinking to be successful at eating on the go; one must be prepared. Below are a few of my ideas that you may run with and expand upon to satisfy your own family’s tastes and preferences. The Chicken and The Egg will hopefully answer Car Picnic Momma’s Plea of “…some things to either make on the weekend that just need a quick reheating— but in particular we need food that not only can be ready fast, but can be eaten fast or on the go…”
Remember the Mantra: Any food, hot or cold, can be eaten on the go with the right utensils and vessels.
Although the Mantra states that you can eat anything on the go doesn’t mean it is right for your family. So consider the following in order to insure “Car Picnic” success:
1. The ages of your children. I believe a teenager can handle eating, quite neatly even, lidded bowls of pasta, whereas a little one may make a huge mess.
2. Can the food be eaten with fingers or does it require utensils? Most may prefer hand-held foods on the go but will eat a “fork” meal happily when it is satisfying!
3. Where will you be eating the food? In the car, ball park, or Karate studio? Will you be juggling the food on your lap or at a table?
4. How much time will you have to eat?
5. How much time do you have to prepare and pack you “Car Picnic?”
6. How many people do you have to feed?
7. Temperature of the food. You do not want to give a little one something very hot while eating in the car. They can burn themselves or become frustrated that they have to wait for it to cool. Although hot meals are still appreciated on the go!
If you do not have time to roast your own chickens then the easiest thing to do is purchase 2, 3, or more Rotisserie Chickens while doing your weekly shopping. I usually make my Sam’s Club runs on Saturday mornings and bring home one of my family’s favorite meals: Rotisserie Chicken served on rolls with Mayo or barbecue sauce, chips, fruit, and baby carrots with Ranch Dip. I pull all the meat off the bones, easiest to do while the chicken is still warm, and serve it on a platter. Leftover chicken meat can be used for a plethora of recipes, some of which I will share with you below.
Don’t throw away the bones! To make Chicken Stock, I placed the carcases in a pot, covered with water, seasoned with salt and pepper, and added a few thyme sprigs, 4 stalks of celery, several carrots, one half of an onion, and two tomatoes cut in half. I covered the pot and brought it to a boil, then lowered the heat, removed lid and gently simmered for one hour to concentrate the flavors. Strain and chill. Once chilled you may skim off the fat. Store in the refrigerator for one week or in the freezer for 6 months. The stock can be used for soups, pasta, or casseroles. Here is how I use my stock:
Chicken Noodle Soup- Can be placed in a Thermos or lidded plastic bowl and eaten on your “Car Picnic.” Be sure to pack re-usable or disposable bowls, ladle, spoons, napkins, and crackers or rolls. This is perfect for those chilly practices. See how easy this soup is once you have your homemade stock and deboned and skinless chicken meat? This soup can also be kept warm in a crockpot for when you return from early practices and need dinner ready. Butternut Squash Soup- This soup can be served in a mug and sipped while at chilly games or practices.
How To Use Rotisserie Chicken Meat
There are so many recipes that you can make with the meat from your rotisserie chickens such as pasta and rice dishes, casseroles, soups, stir-fries, and salads. With a little creativity you will be packing some great chicken dinners in no time due to the super simple and affordable (under 5 bucks each at Sam’s Club) Rotisserie Chicken. Once you have removed the meat from the bones and de-skinned your meat, the chicken meat can be used for some of the following meal and snack ideas along with any other recipe you have calling for cooked chicken meat.
Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas To a skillet on med- high heat add a little butter. Place a tortilla over the butter and sprinkle it with cheese and chopped chicken meat. Optional but nice, you may add black olives, onions, peppers, and beans. Top with another tortilla and grill on each side until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Wrap in foil then a dish towel to keep warm and place in cooler (without ice!) Serve with small containers of sour cream, guacamole, and salsa kept on ice in a separate smaller cooler, like a lunch box size.
Chicken Salad Either spooned over a salad or in a sandwich, Chicken Salad is always a favorite treat. Here is the recipe I had used for my MOPS group year after year for our High Teas. Four slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled, 2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken, 3 T. chopped chives, 4-5 T. Mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste, mix well. This will make about 4-6 sandwiches. To keep the bread from getting soggy, pack bread and salad separately or spread each slice of bread with a little cream cheese. Other nice additions are grape halves, nuts and seeds, avocado slices, or dried fruits and coconut. Experiment with different bread and rolls. Wrap each sandwich individually and keep on ice in your cooler. Serve with chips or pretzels, raw veggies and dip, and fruit.
Chicken Wraps This is a very versatile chicken sandwich that you may make with whatever your family likes. Mine is a flour tortilla spread with a little cream cheese, lined with baby spinach, topped with rotisserie chicken and Roasted Tomatoes, then sprinkled with Penzeys’ Tuscan Sunset. Here are some ingredient ideas that would go nicely with chicken: sliced apples or pears, any cheese, bacon, onions, red peppers, cucumbers, pineapple, nuts and seeds, grapes, dried fruits, coleslaw, avocado slices, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, salsa, Boursin, etc. Use your imagination. Wrap each in waxed paper, place a toothpick through each end and cut in half on a diagonal. Wrap individually in plastic baggies or place a bunch of them in a lidded container. Keep on ice in your cooler. Serve with favorite pasta salad, fruit, and cookies all portioned individually.
Chicken Club Sandwich Your family will feel spoiled when they see these triple-decker delights. For each sandwich toast 3 pieces of bread, cool completely. On the bottom piece of toast, spread a little mayo and top with a little chopped chicken, top with second piece of toast and then add two pieces of bacon, top with last piece of toast. Separately wrap tomato slices and lettuce to prevent soggy toast. Add the veggies at your destination. If that is impossible then spread the two pieces of toast that is holding the veggies with a little cream cheese. Cut each sandwich in fourths, wrap each sandwich in waxed paper, and keep on ice in your cooler. Serve with chips or Potato Salad, fruit, and Snack Cake.
* Some of you may poo-poo this as you don’t like cold toast but really folks when you make any club or BLT the toast is cold before you even finish making that sandwich! And the bacon too while we are being honest.
Hard-boiled eggs alone are great snacks for on the go but added to salads, made into Egg Salad, or cooked with other sauces, the hard-boiled egg shines. To make the perfect hard-boiled egg, place as many eggs as you want in a large pot with fitted lid. Fill with water to cover the eggs by one inch. Toss in 2 T. Kosher salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling lower heat and simmer for 9 minutes. After 9 minutes, turn off heat, drain water and cover with cold water and lots of ice. Let cool completely for about 15-20 minutes. Remove water and ice and shake pot to break egg shells. Peel eggs and store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week. These travel well on ice.
Deviled Eggs Cut six hard-boiled eggs in half length-wise and dump yolks into a bowl. Add 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 T. sweet relish, fresh cracked black pepper to taste, scant 1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning, 1/8 tsp. celery salt (adjust seasonings to taste), 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar. Mix well and stuff eggs. Makes 12. If you do not have a Deviled Egg carrier then place each egg in a cupcake liner and place in a lidded plastic container. Keep on ice in your cooler.
* If your eggs do not peel well go on over and see what my friend Rindy does with botched eggs.
Egg Salad My favorite Egg Salad from Serious Eats April 7, 2008 by Nick Kindelsperger
6 eggs, hard-boiled
1/3 cup chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoon dijon mustard
Small bunch watercress- optional
In a large bowl, gently combine the eggs, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour on the mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard. Gently fold together. Serve on a bed of watercress or other greens, on bread, or a roll. Makes 4 sandwiches. Keep on ice in your cooler. Serve with veggies and dip, fresh fruit, and cookies.
Other Hard-Boiled Eggs
Here are a few other ways to serve your hard-boiled eggs.
Asian- Chinese Tea Leaf Egg These are something that I did not grow up with but is very popular in the area in which I live. Make a tiny batch and see if you like them.
Italian Eggs- I make these when I have a pot of gravy (red spaghetti sauce) simmering for a while. Simply peel a hard-boiled egg and place it in the sauce and let it simmer. When I was a kid Ma simmered these a long time! Serve sliced on a piece of Italian Bread with a bit of sauce. Yum! To pack, place in a lidded plastic container with a little sauce and serve on bread, open-faced or like a sandwich. A bit messy for little ones but very tasty and healthy. Pack napkins.
Divide sausage into 6 portions and flatten between palms. Carefully wrap each egg smoothly and completely with the sausage. Place them on a foil lined, shallow pan. Bake at 450° for 15-17 minutes, or until browned through. Drain on paper towels. Slice each in half wrap in foil to keep warm or eat at room temperature. Makes 12 halves. Great with apple sauce. Serves 6-10.
1. BONUS Click here to print out my How to Use Rotisserie Chicken Meat recipe chart. Includes 5 more easy recipes to eat while on the go or to make in advance so dinner is quick and easy when you get home from your children’s games or practices. Hey it is great for anyone actually!
2. Purchase some Rotisserie Chickens and try my snack and meal ideas.
3. Hard boil some eggs and make some of my suggestions.
4. Do you have your coolers ready to go? How does that plastic container cupboard look? Still messy? Get organized now.
“Car Picnics”- How To Eat On The Go: The Plea
“Car Picnics”- How To Eat On The Go: The GOOD
“Car Picnics”- How To Eat On The Go: The BAD- Noodles and Dough
“Car Picnics”- The UGLY: Ballpark Food- Nachos
“Car Picnics” The UH OH’s: Pop Pop Pop Popcorn
For Saturday in the BRK: Since it will take you two days to read this post, I’ll give us a break and post “Car Picnics”- How To Eat On The Go: The BAD- Noodles and Dough on Saturday. Don’t miss it because that would be BAD as in bad bad not good bad.