We’ve all made a batch of roast chicken only to end up with plenty of leftovers. Don’t throw away your leftover chicken: Kids love it, it’s good value and low fat. Try these handy ideas to revamp your leftovers.
Leftover Chicken Recipes
1. Chicken lasagne
Make a bolognese sauce with diced chicken instead of mince.
Layer with lasagne sheets and top with a béchamel (white) sauce instead of cheese sauce (or use a jar if you’re pushed), and sprinkle with cheese. Pop in the oven for 30-45 mins for a twist on your family favourite.
2. Chicken stir fry
Stir fry some veggies according to what you have in the fridge.
Add fresh ginger and garlic for authentic flavour. Add strips of chicken and bean sprouts. Season with soy sauce and a splash of sesame oil. Heat thoroughly, and serve with noodles or rice.
3. Chicken soup
Fry diced onion, then add a pint of stock. Throw in diced potatoes and veg, and boil until nearly cooked. Add diced chicken and heat thoroughly for a meal in a bowl!
To bulk it out, cook chicken hearts with the onion first. Or add dumplings at the end – using vegetarian suet for a healthier alternative. For extra nutrition, boil the chicken bones for a couple of hours first, and use that instead of stock. Soups are one of the first recipes invented, and for good reason – they can be made with whatever you have at hand!
4. Chicken risotto
Fry diced vegetables – onion, mushrooms, peppers, courgette. Once soft, add 500g long grain rice, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon of paprika and 500ml hot stock.
Transfer to a dish and microwave for five minutes on high. Stir and cook for another 15 minutes on medium, until the rice is cooked and the liquid absorbed. Stir in diced chicken – and chorizo for more flavour or protein. Heat for another five minutes and serve.
5. Chicken pie
Fry diced onions and then quartered mushrooms. Sprinkle over two tablespoons plain flour and half a stock cube and cook gently for a minute. Gradually add half a pint milk and bring to the boil while stirring.
Add diced chicken and if you like, cooked kidney slices, and heat through. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, and top with either pre-cooked sliced/mashed potato with grated cheese on top, or puff pastry. Pop in the oven to cook the pastry/melt the cheese, and serve with veg.
6. Chicken curry
For a fast cheat, stir-fry veggies with diced onions until cooked. Sugar snap peas and tinned baby corn work well.
Mix in curry pastes: 100g Korma and 1-2 teaspoons Garam Masala. Add diced chicken. Finally, pour in either a tin of coconut milk or chopped tomatoes and water if it’s too dry.
Cook gently for five minutes, and serve with rice or oven-warmed naan bread.
7. Chicken lunchboxes
Add variety to kids’ packed lunches by including a drumstick. Pop in crackers and fruit/salad and it’s a complete meal! For something new, knock up some coronation chicken: Mix chicken pieces with mayonnaise, mango chutney, curry powder and lemon juice to taste. That’ll spice up your sandwich fillings!
8. Creamy chicken with rice
Fry sliced leeks in butter until soft, then add diced chicken. Sprinkle with two tablespoons plain flour and a stock cube and cook gently for a minute.
Add a quarter of a pint milk and a quarter pint hot water. Bring to the boil stirring continuously, and serve on a bed of rice.
9. Chicken pizza
For speed, keep supermarket value pizzas in the freezer. From frozen, spread over tomato purée and sliced tomato, and season with basil, oregano and black pepper. Add chicken strips, plus your favourite toppings.
Top with grated cheese and pop in a hot oven (200°C) for 15-20 minutes.
To make a quick pizza base, rub 25g margarine into 150g of self-raising flour. Mix in one egg that’s been beaten with 2 tablespoons milk. Roll out dough into 1-2 circles, and top as before. Cook five minutes longer than above.
10. Chicken pasta
Fry sliced mushrooms until nearly cooked and then add chicken strips. To bulk out the chicken, fry bacon pieces until cooked before the mushrooms.
Sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of plain flour and cook for one minute. Gradually add half a pint of milk and bring to the boil while stirring.
Once simmering, cook your favourite pasta – penne or fusilli work well. Stir pasta into the sauce to coat thoroughly, and serve sprinkled with parmesan for a great kids’ filler.
All chickened out? Take a look at some of these other ideas for quick, cheap and easy family recipes.
There are so many ways to feed the family on a budget, and leftovers are one of the easiest, and tastiest ways! Have a look at our slow cooker recipes. Using a slow cooker is an excellent way of cooking a variety of foods without the mess and hassle of pots and pans.
Alternatively, use up your potato skins, and combine them with these 5 mouthwatering dips for the ultimate snack!