Today its time to use the rest of the roast chicken. Its going to be a chicken and mushroom pie for dinner and a big batch of stock. So off to get any missing ingredients and prepare for a lovely afternoon of cooking (and delicious aromas filling the house).
So what have we done so far with our roast chicken leftovers (apart from store them safely in the fridge of course)?
Well one of the favourite options is to rustle up a quick curry – always good whether you go for a creamy or a tomato based option. Probably not very authentic but WAY BETTER than anything you’ll get in a supermarket heat and eat; and believe me I know, I’ve tried a lot of heat and eat curry in my time searching for one that’s vaguely good. They are few and far between. Even if the supermarket recipe started out more authentic it’ll never taste quite as fresh and zingy as something you do yourself. So next time you’ve some leftover chicken gives this recipe a whirl and your taste buds a treat.
First the chicken curry…..
The pan: we always use some kind of low sided sauté type pan for curry as this helps the sauce thicken faster than a regular sauce pan would – which is quite important.
The onion: we pretty much always start by frying up an onion fairly finely chopped so its starts to colour but not get too dark (it can get bitter if it over colours though I have found a great curry recipe with really crispy onion but I’ll save that for another post).
Tomatoes: we add a tin of chopped tomatoes and raise the heat so it all starts to simmer down.
The chicken: as the tomatoes begin to bubble quite vigorously we add the chicken meat, which I’ve pulled off from one of the legs and cut into smallish chunks.
While that’s working its curry magic we get the chick peas and sprouting broccoli on the go, cutting the latter up into small florets and tossing with the chick peas, a tiny bit of water and a few twists from a garam masala spice mill plus a good dollop of greek yoghurt to coat everything. This cooks away and thickens whilst we pop on the basmati rice and get some bowls warming.
The chicken curry needs a good 20- 30 minutes of swift bubbling to get the chicken heated through and the sauce nice and concentrated, the chick peas and broccoli need about 15 minutes cooking (thought they’ll survive more if the timings go a bit awry) and the basmati needs 10 minutes boiling and few minutes after its drained to help fluff up.
Then its into the waiting bowls, to the table and dive in for a tasty curry experience. Pretty good all round authentic or not.
Oh and there still at least two meals left on the chicken before we even get to thinking about maybe making stock.
Did last nights chicken live up to expectations?
It was tasty and moist, a good crispy skin and the stuffing was nicely spiced – although my husband thought we were having a rice stuffing in homage to the cricket (England v West Indies) – quite!
Cooking time wise it had 25 minutes at Gas 7 (220C/425F) followed by 90 minutes at Gas 5 (190C/375F) being 20 minutes per pound/450g of weight excluding the stuffing. I’ve found this method works well and with a large chicken comes out pretty spot on each time. A smaller chicken (less than about 3lb) may need up to 20 minutes extra, but I’d always recommend going for the largest chicken you can get so you have plenty of leftovers.
We carved it by first removing both legs and then taking off one side of the breast meat in one piece and then slicing it cross wise, this is trick my husband picked up from a Jamie Oliver TV show and is much easier than slicing the breast in the traditional way. On this size of chicken we shared this one side and that leaves us 2 legs, the other breast and the carcass for all sorts of goodies later in the week.
Roast chicken for dinner tonight. Oh yes bring it on!
As you can guess I LOVE roast chicken. It’s got to be in the Top 5 and its probably right on up there at the number one slot. Soooooo delicious whatever you pair it with. And the all time favourite choice of birthday treat dish for me as a kid.
Tonight’s chicken is ORGANIC (more about this in a later post). So we’ll be making it last quite a few meals and that’s part of the joy of a roast chicken, how far can you stretch it – keep checking back this week to find out what we do with it all (its 4.5lb and there’s only two of us).