Credit: jfelias @ morgueFileRoasting a chicken is one of the most economical ways to feed a family. But unless you are overrun with swarms of teenage boys, you probably have leftovers. You could make chicken soup... again. Or you can try something new. Here are ten leftover chicken recipes from around the world. From quick to creative, you are sure to use that chicken again.
Tear some (or all) of your leftover meat off the bones and roughly shred. Set aside. Make 4 cups of chicken stock using bouillon cubes or better yet, use homemade or liquid condensed stock. Set aside. Chop an onion and cook, over medium heat, until translucent with a knob of butter in a large pot. Add in a cup of frozen peas. Cook, stirring occasionally until peas start to become tender. Add 1 cup of arborio rice and stir to coat with butter and mix with vegetables. Stir in 1/3 cup of white wine, if desired. If you prefer not to use wine, leave this step out. Allow the wine to bubble and reduce, while stirring often. Once wine has simmered down, add in 1 cup of your stock and cook, stirring regularly until liquid is absorbed. Add in another cup of stock and continue until all the stock is absorbed and the risotto develops a creamy texture. You may need a little more or a little less of the stock than 4 cups. After adding in the last cup, stir in your shredded chicken and allow it to heat through. Season to taste. Serve hot with grated parmesan.
You may know this as "Chicken Salad", but you may not know just how good your homemade version will be. Shred leftover chicken into a mixing bowl and set aside. Chop a couple of slices of bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy. Add in some chopped onion (about half a large onion is suitable for 2 cups of chicken), if desired. Alternatively, use chopped green onion, but do not fry it. Add the bacon and onions to the chicken and stir to mix well. Feel free to add in other favorite ingredients, such as chopped pickles, olives or garlic. Stir in a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and enough mayonnaise to coat the mixture. Stir well and serve in a sandwich with lettuce and cheddar or just plain. Once mixed, keep chilled.
Set about a cup of shredded chicken aside. Cook spaghetti or pasta of your choice according to package directions and set aside. In a large frying pan, fry a chopped onion over medium heat in a little bit of oil. As the onion begins to soften, add in some chopped garlic and a freshly chopped tomato. Add a few mushrooms if you prefer. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes, then pour in 1/4 cup of white wine and allow the wine to simmer down. Then stir in about a half a cup of cream (to taste), the shredded chicken and a dash of oregano. Stir until heated through. Season and serve with the pasta.
Make a chicken burrito by spreading refried beans down the middle of a large tortilla. Add a spoonful of sour cream. Top with chunks of your leftover chicken, a handful of shredded cheese and your favourite hot sauce. Wrap into a burrito and heat in microwave for about 30 seconds. Un-wrap your burrito and add in some lettuce and diced avocado. Re-roll, wrap in wax paper or aluminum foil and enjoy.
Ramen Chicken Stir-fry
Slice a head of baby cabbage and set aside in a large bowl with sliced green onions, a handful of sugar snap peas, julienned or shredded carrots, any other vegetables you wish to add and shredded leftover chicken. Prepare a package or two of ramen noodles (AKA 2-minute noodles), saving the flavour packet for your stir-fry. Oil your wok or large frying pan. When hot, add in the vegetables, chicken and ramen spices. Add a glug of soy or wok sauce and stir. When just heated through, add in the drained ramen noodles, stir to mix and serve hot.
Using frozen pizza bases, a small amount of leftover chopped chicken goes a long way. Pre-heat over to 400 degrees F (or as recommended on the pizza base packaging). Spread a spoonful of pizza or spaghetti sauce on your pizza base. Top with chicken and then cover with shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle with other favorite ingredients, such as olives, mushrooms, onions or bacon. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheesemelts to your liking. Slice and serve.
Chicken and Chilli Salad
Spray a salad bowl with olive oil spray or lightly grease the sides with a dash of olive oil, spread with clean paper-towel. Add some torn lettuce leaves and chopped green pepper. Set aside. Finely chop a small seeded chilli pepper. Red will add nice color to your dish, but use a green one if you prefer. Add this to a medium-sized frying pan along with chopped onion, some chopped or minced garlic, some sliced mushrooms and a little oil. Fry gently over medium heat, stirring as needed. Add a small amount of balsamic vinegar and shreds of your leftover chicken. Stir until all ingredients are coated and the chicken is warmed through. Toss chicken and vegetable mix with the lettuce and serve as a light meal.
Although this variation is not traditional, this recipe is based on the Indian classic. Cook basmati or white rice according to package directions. Shred or chop about 2 cups of leftover chicken and set aside. Fry an onion that has been quartered in a large frying pan with a knob of butter. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic and some chopped chillies if you like a little heat. Continue cooking for about a minute. Add 2 cans of chopped tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Allow mixture to boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until the tomatoes have broken down into a thick sauce mixture. As this happens, add your chicken and 2 tablespoons of butter. Allow chicken to heat through and butter to melt. Season to taste. If you want a creamier mixture, stir in a little cream or yoghurt. Serve hot on a bed of rice.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Mix shredded leftover chicken in a bowl with finely chopped green onions, green peppers, cilantro, a packet of taco seasoning and enough sour cream to coat everything. Spread some refried beans on the bottom of your tortillas, cover with the chicken mixture, roll and place your tortillas in a greased casserole dish. Cover with a jar of enchilada sauce and bake for 12-15 minutes until tortilla edges crisp up.
Chicken and Mushroom Pie
Thaw a sheet of puff pastry. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F or the temperature stated on your puff pastry packaging. Mix chopped or shredded chicken, with freshly chopped mushrooms and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Feel free to add in any other vegetables you may have left over, such as chopped carrots or peas. Pour this mixture into a casserole dish and cover with a sheet of puff pastry. Brush a lightly beaten egg over the pastry and create holes for steam to escape with a fork or a knife. Bake in oven until pastry is golden brown and lightly crisped.
Don't forget you can always make terrific, low-sodium chicken stock from the leftover bones and skins of your chicken. As long as your chicken was never frozen, you can even stick the leftover carcass in the freezer to make stock another day.