Saturday, 26 May 2012

Chicken Divan and other comfy ways with chicken

I eavesdrop.

 I don't mean to- but I do.

 The older you get, as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple discovered to her advantage, the more invisible you become- and people talk around me, over me and past me as if I wasn't there.

Most of the conversations I overhear are banal, some are amusing and others, like the one I will recount for you below are downright shocking:
Whilst getting changed for swimming last Sunday, two young women talked over me as they had lockers to either side of mine.

Girl 1: 'I don't know what to cook for dinner tonight' she moaned, 'Mick insists on a Sunday roast but there's only the two of us and half of it gets thrown in the bin.' (My attention was immediately grabbed!)
'Why not do lamb chops with all the trimmings instead?' suggested Girl 2 helpfully.
'He wouldn't accept that!' wailed Girl 1, as if she was cooking for Louis XIV and not the stolid Mick 'And anyway, there's just as much veg and rubbish to throw away at the end of that too!'

Reader, I was shocked!
Is there a whole generation out there who live in terror of keeping anything overnight in the fridge- lest it should plot to poison them if left to its own devices?
Or is it lack of skill? Or imagination?

Here's what I did with this Sunday's roast:

First of all, of course, roast chicken, gravy, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots and broccoli.

After we'd had our fill, this is how much chicken was left on the bird for further meals:

Nearly 400 grams!

This made a Chow Phan ( see February blog post for the recipe) and a Chicken Divan ( a dish from the Seventies): place a layer of cooked broccoli and a layer of  cooked chicken in a gratin dish. Add a can of chicken soup mixed with a little cream and a pinch of curry powder. Cover with a layer of breadcrumbs, grated parmesan or strong cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of toasted almonds (optional). Bake in a hot oven until the breadcrumbs and cheese are crispy and the sauce is bubbling - take care not to burn the almonds. 

Then I made stock from the carcass in the slow cooker ( see March blog for method).

Once cooled, there was yet more meat to be taken from the carcass along with the delicious stock: this made a lovely chicken noodle soup with spring onions, sweetcorn, soy sauce, spinach and noodles added and brought to a gentle simmer. ( See March blog post for a picture).

One last thought- don't forget the parsnips and leftover veg. 

I made a potato and parsnip gratin with the leftover roastie veg: Roughly chop the veg, mix with a savoury white sauce or cream, top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs and bake in a hot oven until brown and bubbling. 

Nice with fish or on its own as a vegetarian main dish.

Right - I'm off for another swim.

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