Thanksgiving leftovers creatively imagined by Sen. Marsha Blackburn: 'Became a favorite'

Well-loved recipe is perfect for post-holiday time or any special occasion

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, thoroughly enjoys hosting her family for the holidays and preparing favorite recipes for them — and she's shared a delicious chicken dish exclusively with Fox News Digital for the holiday season. (SEE THE VIDEO at the top of this article.)

Her Chicken Bearnaise recipe, she said, "is so easy to make, and it came about because I needed something different for a dish — and I didn't want a chicken salad. I wanted something that was pretty and easily plated. I came up with this dish."

She added, "And everybody loved it."

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"It just became a favorite of our family and of our children's friends," said the senator in a phone interview with Fox News Digital a few days ago.

"And it really tickles me when one of our daughter's friends will say to us, ‘Oh, I thought of you and your mom today, because I made a big plate of Chicken Bearnaise.’"

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, enjoys making favorite recipes at home for her family and friends. She shared her Chicken Bearnaise recipe with Fox News Digital for this year's holiday season. "Chopping up the leftover chicken or turkey is a superb way to use [your] leftovers," she said.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, enjoys making favorite recipes at home for her family and friends. She shared her Chicken Bearnaise recipe with Fox News Digital for this year's holiday season. "Chopping up the leftover chicken or turkey is a superb way to use [your] leftovers," she said. (Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.)

She said her Chicken Bearnaise recipe also works with turkey leftovers.

"A lot of people now will serve chicken instead of turkey" for the Thanksgiving holiday, she said.

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"And so chopping up the leftover chicken or turkey is a superb way to use those leftovers — and it's a completely different taste."

"When you put it in a puff pastry," she added, "it's so wonderful and serves pretty on the plate. And it gives you that little touch of bread as well as serving as the container, the vessel."

She and her family make a point of sharing what they're grateful for each year. 

And for how long has the senator been making this enjoyable recipe?

At least 35 years, she said.

"I do it a lot for Sunday lunch," she said, "because you need something that you can make ahead of time" — and, then after "you come in from church," the family can enjoy a delicious and freshly cooked meal together, she said.

In her downtime, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, enjoys cooking for family and friends — especially at holiday time. 

In her downtime, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, enjoys cooking for family and friends — especially at holiday time.  (REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)

Regarding the holidays and the topic of gratitude, Sen. Blackburn mentioned that she and her family make a point of sharing what they're grateful for each year — and what they could've done better as well, she said.

"During the holiday, we always have topics for our meals," she said. 

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"We'll talk about what we're grateful for, and we'll also talk about what we accomplished or didn't accomplish for the year — and what our goals are for the next year," said Sen. Blackburn. 

"And it is a way to be sure that your family knows where you're going with your thoughts and your goals — and they're there to support you in those goals."

"We'll talk about what we accomplished or didn't accomplish for the year — and what our goals are for the next year," Sen. Blackburn told Fox News Digital about her special times with her family during the holidays. 

"We'll talk about what we accomplished or didn't accomplish for the year — and what our goals are for the next year," Sen. Blackburn told Fox News Digital about her special times with her family during the holidays.  (iStock)

It speaks strongly to family ties and connection, she said.

"It's so important for family members to feel comfortable in sharing these things" with loved ones, she said. 

"To be able to say, ‘This went really right for me — or this went really wrong for me.’ And keeping those lines of communication open," she said. 

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Here, Sen. Blackburn shares her personal recipe for a delicious holiday feast using leftovers from Thanksgiving or other meals.

 It's a meal unto itself, she noted, for holiday time or almost any time of year.

Sen. Blackburn's Chicken Bearnaise

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts or the equivalent in turkey

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 cups sour cream

1 package bearnaise sauce mix

1 small chopped red onion

salt and pepper to taste

puff pastry

cranberry sauce

Sen. Marsha Blackburn enjoys cooking favorite recipes for her family and friends. The puff pastry in this dish, she said, "gives you that little touch of bread."

Sen. Marsha Blackburn enjoys cooking favorite recipes for her family and friends. The puff pastry in this dish, she said, "gives you that little touch of bread." ( REUTERS/Octavio Jones)

Instructions

1. Chop chicken or turkey into chunky pieces — not too big, not too small.

2. Combine in a bowl with cream of chicken soup, sour cream, onion, and bearnaise sauce mix. Add in salt, pepper and minced garlic to taste. 

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3. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes.

4. Serve over puff pastry and garnish with cranberry sauce.

To learn more about making this recipe from Sen. Marsha Blackburn, watch the video at the top of this article, or click here to access it