Last night I roasted a chicken in honor of Julia Child’s 100th Birthday, tomorrow.  I’m still doing physical therapy, and between it and work tomorrow, I really wouldn’t have had the time I wanted  tomorrow and still eat at a decent hour.  I figured Julia would understand.

I thought a simple roasted chicken would be the best tribute to her.  It’s one of the easiest and most intimidating of dishes.  Easy, because what’s difficult about putting a chicken in the oven?  Intimidating, because they rarely come out as planned.

But this is about the leftovers.  My tome to Roast Chicken is tomorrow…

With chicken in the ‘fridge, sandwiches were my first choice – but not just any sandwich…   grilled panini loaded with all sorts of fun things!  I mean, would you expect a plain ol’ chicken sandwich with mayo on squishy white bread?!?  Not that I don’t have a place in my heart for turkey and squishy white bread sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving, but that’s still a few months away…

These panini started with a Tuscan pane.  If you’re gonna go Italian, go Italian, right?!?  Then came a sharp imported provolone.  Atop that went slices of fresh tomatoes from our garden.  Next was the aforementioned chicken, topped with fried peppers, also from the garden.  Next was a Locatelli with peppercorns, and then the final slice of bread.  Both slices were liberally (I love the word Liberal) doused with olive oil and placed on the panini maker.

Meanwhile, I made Italian potato pancakes.  I got this idea from La Cucina Italiana.  I’ve been making potato pancakes for as long as I can remember, but these were really, really simple.  They were just mashed potatoes – with nothing added – mixed with shredded provolone cheese, salt, pepper, and minced fresh basil.  I formed them into patties and cooked them on a griddle with just enough olive oil to keep them from sticking.

The perfect leftover meal.