The other weekend we were in our local supermarket looking for inspiring sandwich fillings for our lunches the following week, when we spotted a cooked chicken reduced to £4. Realising it was way cheaper than the sliced chicken "designed" for sandwiches and even cheaper than the chicken thighs we'd usually buy, it went straight into my basket. Don't get me started on why that is...
Our plan was to use it for lunches, but to use it more quickly than we would a non-reduced chicken or one we'd cooked ourselves. Making soup and freezing that seemed a good option, and would bring a welcome change to sandwiches again...
The next day I set about making some stock from the carcass to form the base of my chicken and vegetable soup. I used this recipe - Chicken Garden soup - by Jamie Oliver as my guide, but through circumstances such as a lack of celery and parsley adapted it by including coriander stems and other aromatics instead. Along with the stock ingredients I added a couple of whole unpeeled garlic gloves, an inch or so of ginger, half a red chilli (unchopped) and a couple of star anise.
The rest of the recipe was pretty much the same, except I excluded the spinach as I wanted to freeze the soup and I thought it might go a bit slimy. And it turned out well. I was surprised when this £4 chicken made four portions of chicken and vegetable soup, and two 500ml of chicken stock which I've also frozen for use another day.
There was clearly too much chicken to use in the soup, so I used the chicken breasts which I'd removed in a single piece in fajitas, along with red onions and red and yellow peppers. There was still enough meat for sandwiches and I mixed up some quick Coronation Chicken for these - see my recipe below. Then we finished the last of it off in a chicken and broccoli frittata.
For £4 that chicken provided a lot of meals, and I was reminded how easy it can be to "cook once, eat twice" at times - even if we didn't actually cook this chicken in the first place!
Clearly though it was the day for bargain chickens, as in my local butchers he was selling three small chickens for £9.50, so I've a feeling I'll be sharing some more Dinner & Lunch ideas here in the forthcoming weeks.
My Quick Coronation Chicken
2 tbsp light Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tbsp Korma curry powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Ground black pepper (to taste)
1 tbsp Mango chutney
Sultanas (to taste)
Flaked almonds (to taste)
Shredded cooked chicken
Mix the Mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, curry powder, cinnamon, black pepper and mango chutney together and check it's to your taste before adding the sultanas, flaked almonds and cooked chicken. Ensure the chicken is covered in the sauce and serve in your roll, sandwich or wrap.
Makes enough for four sandwich wraps
What's your favourite thing to do with leftover chicken?