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How to use chicken leftovers

10 top tips to use up leftover chicken.

1. Freeze and store: Take the chicken off the bone as soon as possible, seal in plastic bags and store in the fridge, or label, date and freeze chicken pieces for use later.

2. Soup: Add leftover chicken to a tin of chicken soup – add a spoon of cream, some chopped fresh herbs and a sprinkle of paprika. Alternatively,you can also add a spoon of curry paste and a spoon of yogurt, to make a light curry soup. (Add water to the can of soup if the instructions require it).

3. Salad: Make up a salad of rocket leaves, dressed in vinagerette at the last minute, add sliced red onion, pine nuts, grated carrot and shredded chicken. Grate parmesan on top.

4. Chicken pittas: Pitta breads are great to have in your storecupboard, for those days when you run out of bread. Make chilli chicken pittas: put chicken on the bottom, a spoon of chilli tomato chutney next, top with grated cheese, guacamole, sour cream and fresh iceberg lettuce on top. Everyone can help themselves so it saves you cooking.

5. Chicken quesadillas: Take two tortillas, spread grated cheese on one, add sliced tomatoes and a few dashes of chilli relish. Add shredded leftover chicken, put the second tortilla on top and fry for five minutes on each side, in an oiled non-stick pan. Cut into triangles and serve with sour cream and guacamole, if you have it. If not, it's brilliant on its own, and even better after a night in the pub.

6. Chicken fricassee: Make up a white sauce, add leftover chicken pieces and frozen peas. Check the seasoning. Serve with rice. This is a really simple, plain delicious meal, good for someone who cannot digest heavy food. You can also add diced cooked ham.

7. Stir-fry: Make a chicken stir-fry with rice: cook the rice and leave to go cold. Heat sunflower oil in a hot wok. Throw in an egg and stir furiously. When it is almost soft but firming up, lift out with a spatula and cut into strips on a plate. Wipe out the wok and add more oil and heat. Fry some chopped onion until it takes on colour. Add the cooked rice, turning constantly and add frozen peas, diced ham, shredded cooked chicken, broccoli pieces, mange toute and carrot batons. Add a little soy sauce if you wish. Check the seasoning and add salt and black pepper, constantly turning. Take it off the heat and put it back if you need to stop it burning. Just before serving add the egg, turn a few times to heat it and serve.

8. Pasta: Heat some garlic in oil, add a tin of tomatoes, some mixed herbs and half a finely chopped chilli. Cook to reduce. You can add a splash of red or white wine, or even brandy if you have it. Add leftover chicken to the sauce and serve with cooked pasta. You can also use chicken to make a lasagne, instead of beef, and add spinach as another layer, on top of the tomato sauce.

9. Chicken stock: Take all the meat off the bones, break up the carcass and put in a large pot covered in water. Add an onion, carrot and a stick of celery. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for about about three quarters of an hour until the bones have given up all their flavour. Reduce it further if it is not strong enough. Leave to cool, skim off the fat, and strain the stock. Freeze in bags, label and date to use later. You can also freeze the carcass. Once you have stripped the meat off the bones, you can break up the carcass and put it in freezer bags and freeze to make stock later, when you have more time and when you have enough carcasses to make it worth the work.

10. Risotto: Make a risotto with chicken and ham. It's delicious. Why not adapt our risotto recipe.

Cook's note
Always make sure that the chicken is cooked through before serving.

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