Eight ideas for leftover chicken

Leftover chicken is hugely versatile and will last for four days in the fridge. Pulling every last shred of meat from the carcass with your hands (wear rubber gloves for grip) is a task that can easily outlast someone else washing up, especially if you make a meal over preparing a pan of stock with the carcass.

  1. A spicy pilaff will make a little leftover chicken go a long way. Add quartered hard-boiled eggs for extra protein and some toasted flaked almonds if someone’s coming. Fry one sliced onion with two chopped cloves of garlic and a sliced red pepper until softened. Add one teaspoon cumin seeds, one teaspoon ground coriander, two teaspoons of chilli powder, two teaspoons curry powder (or paste), two teaspoons turmeric and three cardamom pods. Cook for two minutes to release the aromas. Stir in 600ml chicken stock, 200g basmati rice and 130g chopped dried apricots. Simmer for 10 minutes, add your cooked chicken, cook for another 5 mins and then leave for 5 mins. Serve with natural yogurt and coriander.
  2. Make up your own version of the Pret a Manger chef’s chicken salad, with Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and pistachios in a mustard vinaigrette.
  3. Coronation chicken. Doing this properly is a bit of a palaver. We recommend a shameless cheat. Mix three table spoons of shop bought full-fat mayonnaise with curry paste to taste, one table spoon of mango chutney and a few sultanas to your shredded chicken. Use to fill pittas or soft baps.
  4. Impress your colleagues with a Vietnamese-style shredded chicken salad in your packed lunch. Combine two table spoons of light brown sugar (I used light brown) with one table spoon of rice wine or white wine vinegar, three table spoons of lime juice, three table spoons of fish sauce, one table spoon of vegetable oil or sesame oil, one chopped red chilli, three garlic cloves, very finely chopped and one chopped shallot. Use to dress shredded chicken and some shredded raw carrots, spring onions and radishes.
  5. Always make a stock from the carcass. Chuck it in a pasta pan with half an onion, a carrot broken in half, a couple of sticks of celery, a few black peppercorns and a bay leaf and cover it with cold water. Bring to the boil, skim of any scum and let in putter along for three or four hours. When it’s cool, pass it through a sieve and refrigerate. Take care with this. We’ve ALL poured a freshly made batch of glorious stock through a sieve and DOWN THE SINK. Your stock will keep in the fridge for five days, frozen for a couple of months. Use it for risotto or gravy.
  6. If you’re still in Apres Ski mode check out this recipe for chicken tartiflette, from www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk . Even with expensive Reblochon cheese, it only works out to £2.70 per serving


700g charlotte potatoes

300g baby spinach

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 large garlic cloves

200g smoked bacon lardons

2 tbsp plain flour

Butter for greasing

200ml double cream

200ml chicken stock

370g leftover roast chicken (or poach 3 breasts in stock for 10 minutes until cooked through), shredded

250g Reblochon cheese, rind removed, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Slice the potatoes 3mm thick and simmer in salted water for five minutes until just tender. Drain. Put the spinach in a colander, pour over freshly boiled water from a kettle to wilt, then refresh under cold running water and squeeze dry.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and soften the onion, stirring, for eight minutes. Stir through the garlic and cook for two minutes more, then remove to a bowl. Add the bacon to the pan and fry until starting to crisp. Add to the onion, then stir through the flour.
  3. Lightly grease a large ovenproof dish (about two litres) with butter. Mix the cream with the stock and season.
  4. Layer the potato, onion and bacon, Lightly grease a large ovenproof dish (about two litres) with butter. Mix the cream with the stock and season.
  5. Layer the potato, onion and bacon, spinach, shredded chicken and half of the cheese, pouring over the cream sauce as you go. Finish with a layer of potatoes. Season with salt.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, then scatter over the remaining Reblochon and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes more until golden and piping hot. Serves six.
Emma Page