Pros offer tips for dinner from leftovers

  • Article by: JUDY HEVRDEJS , Chicago Tribune
  • Updated: October 30, 2013 - 4:10 PM

Think you have nothing for mealtime? What about the six eggs, leftover chicken, butter and condiments? Dinner never tasted better.

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In the hands of culinary pros, a few eggs, some leftover rotisserie chicken and bottled condiments go from uninspiring to intriguing in dishes ranging from soups to pastas to deviled eggs.

Photo: Bill Hogan • Chicago Tribune,

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A colleague was remembering his time working in a restaurant where the first thing the chef would say each day: “Let’s look in the refrigerator and see what we’re going to cook today.”

It’s a creative culinary challenge regularly faced in some restaurants and trotted out on cooking shows. Chefs get a mystery basket and must transform the foodstuffs inside into a memorable meal.

It’s the same thing you face every night, right? Except for many of us, the contents of our refrigerator — a few eggs, some leftover rotisserie chicken and bottled condiments — are not always inspiring.

In the hands of culinary pros, though, they become intriguing dishes, ranging from soups to pastas. Which is what happened when we challenged culinary pros to create a dish using a few kitchen staples and the following ingredients:

• 6 eggs

• A jar of mayonnaise

• A jar of mustard

• A bottle of hot sauce

• A chunk of butter

• Half a yellow onion

• Leftover rotisserie chicken

• Leftover hunk of bread

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