By using the whole bird, your Sunday roast can feed the family throughout the week
This week, I present to you the humble roast chicken and show you how to make the most out of it by stretching it to three meals. The first is a simple take on the classic roast in the form of a one-tray roast chicken with white wine, potatoes and asparagus (you can swap out for broccolini if it’s not in season).
When choosing a chicken for roasting, and in particular if you intend to get a couple of meals from it, make sure to choose a bird that’s nice and plump, which looks healthy with no blemishes or imperfections, and that has nice unbroken skin. If you can only get small chickens, maybe consider cooking a second one. You can use whatever veggies are in season to pop in the tray alongside the chicken. Veggies like beetroot, squash and tomatoes are all ideal additions. This is a great repertoire recipe for Sunday dinners, which you can produce at the drop of a hat without too much effort.
As you serve up, make sure to leave a little meat on the bones that you can shred after dinner is served and store alongside the carcass. We’re going to use those chicken scraps for this chicken fried rice, essentially a switched-up version of Indonesian nasi goreng with an egg on top. I’ve used terasi (Indonesian shrimp paste, which you can find in most Asian food stores) here to add umami, but feel free to leave it out.
Using leftover chicken in fried rice is a great way to use it up — a little goes a long way, so if you don’t have 150g left over, just use what you have and bulk it with vegetables. If you can’t get kecap manis, a thick Indonesian store-cupboard staple, replace with dark soy sauce and brown sugar, and for sambal, a splodge of harissa or sriracha will do the trick.
Lastly, a Thai-inspired rice soup that provides a surprisingly rich broth. Roasting the leftover chicken carcass until it is golden brown and then simmering with the aromatics is the trick to producing a flavourful stock. Use a pressure cooker or slow cooker if you’d prefer — just don’t skip the roasting step as that’s what helps give this stock its depth and colour.
Use these recipes to rethink the Sunday roast to feed the family through the week!
Serves: 4 Time: 1 hour 45 mins
800g baby new potatoes, halved
1 garlic bulb, cloves separated
1 lemon, sliced
A handful of fresh thyme sprigs
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1.5kg free-range chicken
A large knob of butter
1 large bunch of asparagus, woody ends snapped off
1 x 125ml glass of white wine
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/Gas Mark 4.
2. Put the potatoes, garlic cloves and lemon slices into a large roasting tin.
Scatter with the thyme sprigs and drizzle with the oil. Season well and toss to
3. Remove the string trussing the chicken. Gently loosen the skin on the chicken’s breasts to form a pocket, being careful not to tear it. Push a little butter under the skin, then spread more on top and season well. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and transfer the tray to the oven to roast for 45 minutes.
4. Remove the chicken to a plate, add the asparagus and pour the wine into the roasting tin. Mix everything together so that the asparagus is coated in the wine and chicken juices. Place the chicken back on the veg. Return to the oven and roast for a further 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender.
5. Rest the chicken and veg somewhere warm for 10 minutes, covered with foil, then scatter over the parsley and serve.
Serves: 2 Time: 45 mins
200ml groundnut oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced on a mandoline
100g green beans, chopped in half
200g cooked and cooled long-grain white rice (leftovers are perfect for this)
½ tsp cornflour
150g leftover chicken, roughly shredded
2 tbsp kecap manis
1 tbsp light soy sauce
4 spring onions, thinly sliced, plus extra to serve
1 red chilli, finely sliced, plus extra to serve
Salt and ground white pepper
For the spice paste:
2 banana shallots, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 large red chilli
½ tsp Indonesian shrimp paste (optional)
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp turmeric
½ cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1. To make the spice paste, add all the ingredients, including the shrimp paste, if using, into a small food processor and process until you have a fairly smooth paste.
2. Add the groundnut oil into a wok along with the shallots. Place over a high heat and fry, stirring frequently until the oil starts to bubble. Continue frying, stirring constantly, until the shallots start to turn a golden-brown colour.
3. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a heatproof bowl and pour the shallots into the sieve, retaining the shallot-infused oil. Transfer the shallots to a baking tray lined with kitchen paper, season generously with salt and set aside.
4. Add the green beans to a pot of boiling, salted water and blanch for 3 minutes before straining and running under cold water to shock. Set aside.
5. Add the cold rice into a bowl with the cornflour and, using your hands, break the rice up into individual grains, mixing the cornflour through the rice as you go.
6. Place 2 tablespoons of the shallot-infused oil into the wok and heat over a high heat.
7. Add the spice paste and cook for 2 minutes, until it smells aromatic, then add the rice and stir to coat in the paste, breaking up any clumps. Add the leftover chicken and the blanched green beans, and cook for a further 2 minutes to warm through.
8. Finally, stir through the kecap manis, soy sauce, spring onions and chilli, and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
9. Meanwhile, add roughly 100ml of the reserved shallot-infused oil to a separate small frying pan and heat over a high heat. Once hot, crack in the eggs and fry until crispy around the edges and cooked to your liking.
10. To serve, grab a small bowl and fill with the fried rice. Invert on to your serving plates, slightly offset, and serve the fried eggs on top of the mounds of rice. Divide the crispy shallots between your plates and serve with the sliced cucumber, tomato, extra spring onions and sliced chillies and some sambal for a spicy kick.
Serves: 2 Time: 20 mins + 5 hours (to make the stock)
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
200g cooked and cooled long-grain white rice (leftovers are perfect for this)
100g mustard greens, or spinach
1 tsp palm or light brown sugar
White pepper, to season
For the stock:
1 leftover chicken carcass, plus any leftover meat and skin
2 large white onions, skin left on, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 bulb of garlic
2 tbsp sesame oil
Large pieces of ginger, roughly chopped
2 spring onions, broken in half
1 stick of lemongrass, bashed
2 star anise
1 tbsp white peppercorns
A handful of coriander, leaves picked
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
2cm piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced into matchsticks
2 spring onions, finely sliced into rounds
Crispy fried onions
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/Gas Mark 6. For the stock, break the leftover chicken carcass into a few pieces and place on to a large baking tray with the onions, carrot and garlic bulb. Add the sesame oil and toss to coat all the ingredients in the oil.
2. Place the tray into the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until everything is golden and fragrant.
3. Scrape everything off the tray into a large pot with a lid. If there is anything left on the tray, place the tray over a medium heat and add 100ml water, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all of that flavour from the tray. Transfer the flavourful water to the pot along with the roasted chicken and onions.
4. Add the ginger, spring onions, lemongrass, star anise and white peppercorns to the pot alongside 1.5 litres of cold water, covering all of the contents. Bring the water to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to bring the stock back to a gentle simmer. Simmer partially covered for at least 4 hours, occasionally skimming off any foam that forms on the surface. After 4 hours, you should have an aromatic stock that is rich in colour and flavour. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside until needed. The stock can also be frozen at this point.
5. When you’re ready to cook your soup, add the groundnut oil and garlic cloves to a large high-sided saucepan and heat gently until the garlic starts to sizzle and turn a pale golden brown. Strain the garlic and oil through a fine-mesh sieve set over a heatproof bowl and set the crispy garlic aside.
6. Add the garlic-infused oil back into the pan along with the chicken stock, soy sauce and fish sauce, and bring to the boil.
7. Add in the rice and mustard greens (or spinach) and cook for a couple of minutes to warm everything through. Season with the sugar and white pepper, adding more soy sauce or fish sauce to taste, and spoon into large bowls. Serve with the crispy garlic chips and the remaining accompaniments to build the rice soup bowls.