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Juicy and crispy, easy and thrifty: Deck out a deli chicken for a no-fuss family meal

MILWAUKEE -- Deli chickens are a cheap, fast way to get dinner on the table -- but your family doesn't have to tear into the whole chicken like a pack of wolves. Food science expert, Christina Ward, joins Real Milwaukee with a few extra steps that can turn your take-out into a sit-down meal in minutes.

Chicken Mac & Cheese

  • 6 ounces (170g) elbow macaroni
  • Salt
  • 6 ounces (180ml) evaporated milk
  • 6 ounces (170g) grated mild or medium cheddar cheese, or any good melting cheese, such as Fontina, Gruyère, or Jack
  • 2 cups shredded deli chicken

Place macaroni in a medium saucepan or skillet and add just enough cold water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.

Continue to cook, stirring, until water has been almost completely absorbed and macaroni is just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes..

Immediately add evaporated milk and bring to a boil. Add cheese. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continuously, until cheese is melted and liquid has reduced to a creamy sauce, about 2 minutes longer. Add shredded chicken. Season to taste with more salt and serve immediately.

For a Buffalo Chicken variation, use a Fontina or Gruyere cheese for melting and add 3 ounces of blue cheese and ¼ cup of Buffalo Chicken wing sauce.

Chicken Chickpea Chard Protein Salad

  • 1 can of garbanzo beans / chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 bunches of parsley, rinsed and chopped
  • 6 stems of chard
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • ½ white or purple onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 whole head of garlic, minced
  • Zest of one lemon, microplaned
  • 2 Tbs of Sherry or red wine

1. Rinse and destem, then blanch for 30 seconds. Drain greens and add to large bowl. Drain and rinse chickpeas and add to bowl. Mince garlic and slice onion and add to bowl.

2. Whisk salt, pepper, wine, and olive oil together.

3. Add chicken to bowl, then add dressing and mix together. Serve!