If there’s one thing Canadians can agree on, it’s our love of chicken! Collectively, we eat about 1 billion kilograms of chicken each year. Since we eat so much of it, it’s important to drum up new recipes to keep taste buds happy.
As menus rotate in senior living settings, it’s wise to stick to residents’ favourites, and add something new to spark interest and keep everyone satisfied. Are you looking for new ideas for your preferred cuts of poultry? We’ve scanned the globe and come up with a variety of choices that speak to the growing diversity of cultural and ethnic backgrounds in Canadian retirement and long-term care settings.
Based upon the preference of residents, here are new ideas for chicken dishes that are inspired by Italy, Greece, China, India, Central Europe, Ukraine and the Middle East. To find the recipes that are referenced below and many others, simply check out our recipe page.
Italy: Fresh tomatoes, basil, thyme, lemons, garlic and olive oil are the signature flavours of Italian cooking. Mediterranean-inspired meals are heart-healthy, flavourful and delicious. Try Lemon Chicken Scallopini with Spinach, which is made with Maple Leaf’s Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs and a mild lemon sauce with olive oil and garlic. Or go for comfort food with a classic Chicken Thigh and White Bean Casserole that features tomatoes, olive oil and thyme. Add a side of pasta with fresh herbs.
Greece: Continue the tour of the Mediterranean with the flavours of Greece: cucumber, lemon, tomato, mint, feta cheese, oregano and onion. To make a simple Greek-inspired dish, use Maple Leaf’s Chicken Souvlaki Pieces in the popular Chicken Greco recipe with a side of tzatziki sauce.
China: Get all taste buds firing with Chinese dishes that marry salty, spicy, sweet, sour and bitter flavours. Chicken pairs well with garlic, ginger, cilantro, five spice powder, green onions and some chillies (but not too spicy!) Try Maple Leaf’s new Natural Pulled Chicken in the Asian Pulled Chicken Slaw recipe that combines Napa cabbage, carrots, red pepper with a hint of ginger.
India: Chicken curries are the perfect way to introduce mild Indian-inspired flavours at your setting. A “curry” is a mix of meat or vegetables (or both) cooked with aromatic herbs and spices. They can be “wet” (cooked in sauce) or “dry” (cooked with spices). Some popular spices in curry powder include cumin, coriander, turmeric and fenugreek. Create a delicious Indian-style Butter Chicken dish with basmati rice by using Maple Leaf’s popular Chicken Dippers made with 100% breast meat.
Central Europe and Ukraine (Poland, Austria, Hungary, Germany): The staple flavours of Eastern European cuisine include parsley, dill, paprika, onion, caraway, garlic and bay leaf. Chicken is often roasted with paprika and onion, and served with potatoes. Pairing roasted chicken with cabbage, and root vegetables like turnips and carrots, will make for an authentic dining experience.
Middle Eastern: Flavourful hummus, parsley, lemon, mint, za’atar and harissa are Middle Eastern flavours. Make simple grilled chicken with za’atar, which is a blend of sumac, sesame seeds, oregano and other herbs or spices. Chicken shawarma is popular, and is easy to make with Mina Halal’s new Fully Cooked Shawarma Chicken Strips, which are certified by the Halal Monitoring Authority (HMA). Check out our recipes for lots of authentic, easy-to-create recipes using these tender strips!
See? There are so many exciting ways to prepare your favourite cuts of Maple Leaf chicken, and most use ingredients that you already have on hand in your setting’s kitchen. Try something new!