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Left Over Roast Chicken

Posted onJune 19, 2012 by     Leave a comment

I love roast chicken; it’s one of the rare roasts that works all year round – I touch of lemon in the gravy and new potatoes in summer lighten it up. But much as Heston Blumenthal’s lengthy cooking method is good, it is time-consuming and I quite like the taste of a properly scorch-roasted chicken. As long as it’s basted and kept moist.

For Beloved and I, however, the problem with a whole chicken is the leftovers. On occasion, roasting whole breasts with frequent basting can manage a reasonable fake but the real thing is better. Carve the breasts and scoff with everything else. Then pick over the carcass and remove the meat, making a stock of the remains. The following day, the choice of what to do with the remaining chicken is the problem.

A curry or a risotto are obvious options, and sometimes ones I take, but the main thing, I find, is to do something that really only needs the chicken to be warmed at the end. Otherwise it develops a strong taste of “old chicken”. It’s not inedible but it is preferable to avoid.

Last night, whist fancying rice, I didn’t really fancy the clagginess of risotto (unusually for me) and we had some fresh coriander that was edging towards bin time. So:

  •  Two healthy handfuls of basmati rice
  • Leftover roast chicken
  • Good fist of fresh coriander, including stems
  • 1 Lime
  • Sesame oil
  • Frozen peas
  • Seasoning


Just cover the rice with water, add a pinch of salt and boil gently until all the water is absorbed (no further salt will be needed other than that used in the water, unless you prefer to drain rice; the slight stickiness of keeping all the starch rather than rinsing is better here, I think).

Reduce the heat to lowest and add a little olive oil, a small knob of butter and a twist of black pepper. Stir in throughly then add the cold, leftover chicken. Keep moving, then chop and add all the coriander, a capfull of sesame oil*, juice of a lime and a tablespoon or two of pease, depending on your preference.

Keep the whole thing moving gently until the peas are just warm; that’s a good indicator the chicken will be, too. Serve immediately.

Amazingly simple, and utterly delicious. Surprisingly so, in fact, which is why I didn’t have a useful picture. So it’s the aftermath, instead…

This is an ex-dinner


*sesame oil is often used as a flavour rather than as a heat medium; that’s the case here. Be careful not to add too much as it’s potent!




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