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What To Do With Leftovers - Cold Chicken and Bulgur Pilaf Recipe

Updated on June 29, 2011

Everyday, I always keep leftover foods inside the fridge. And most of the time, if I don’t immediately do something with it, surely they would all go to waste.

And how would that made me feel? Guilty... of course!

Why? Because I'm the type of person who hates to throw away any leftover food. To me, it's not only sinful but it always gives me a feeling of guilt why I had to throw away spoiled food when there are so many people out there who are starving. So unless there really is a very valid reason why I had to do so, I would prefer to do something to prevent anything from being thrown away.

Yet most of the time, I've heared many reasons why people should throw away their leftover food - simply because they couldn't find time or they don't know what to do with it. Perhaps, others throw leftovers because they just simply (unintentionally) forgot that its even there - sitting for so many days inside the refrigerator. Oh well, whatever the reason is, there shouldn't have been any excuse why people should throw food.

Photo by Loren Akten
Photo by Loren Akten

So as much as I can, I always try to make a rescue operation with everything that’s left over after every meal. That is why, knowing how and what to do with leftovers is absolutely very important because we all know that the more we keep our leftovers to stay in the refrigerator, the more food keepers will pile up - which means that we have lots of food rescue to do or else all those food will just end up in the trash.

One way to rescue leftover food is to heat them for the next meal. Microwaving or steaming leftovers are among the easiest ways to do this if eating the same food again won’t be a problem as long as we don’t throw them away. However, eating just exactly the same dish all over again will probably not always satisfy our taste.

So here's another idea, how about turning these leftovers into another dish? Wouldn’t that sound better?

"Leftover bulgur pilaf and chicken, a common sight inside a foodkeeper in my fridge."  (Photo by Loren Akten)
"Leftover bulgur pilaf and chicken, a common sight inside a foodkeeper in my fridge." (Photo by Loren Akten)

What To Do With Leftover Pilaf and Cold Chicken

In this recipe, I use bulgur pilavi instead of the usual plain rice as I do love to eat bulgur pilaf and cook it often at home. Besides, we always keep a leftover chicken at home since my son loves to eat bütün piliç izgara or whole grilled chicken. This is the reason why I have decided to rescue and cook these two main ingredients together and make another variant of the usual “fried rice”. And the result... an absolutely more flavorful and appetizing side dish!

Note: Any other pilaf may also probably do well with this recipe, especially with plain pilaf.

Here’s how to rescue a cold chicken and bulgur pilavi leftovers:


  • 3 cups leftover bulgur pilavi
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover cold chicken, shredded
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped (can be substituted with green onions)
  • ¼ cup frozen green peas (optional)
  • ¼ cup frozen corn (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of black pepper to taste


"Chicken & Bulgur Pilaf Leftovers"  (Photo by Loren Akten)
"Chicken & Bulgur Pilaf Leftovers" (Photo by Loren Akten)


  • In a heated pan, sauté onions over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and season with ground black pepper and salt.
  • Add shredded chicken and stir to cook.
  • Add the optional ingredients such as green peas and corn.
  • Add the lightly beaten eggs. Stir and scrape the sides through the use of a spatula as soon as it turns scrambled.
  • Add the pilaf, soy sauce, apple vinegar and red pepper flakes. Continue stirring.
  • Add parsley and cook for just about 2-3 minutes more.
  • Serve hot with a bowl of green salad or cacik.

Afiyet olsun! (Have a good appetite!)


I didn’t need to add chopped green peppers and diced red tomatoes in this recipe for the bulgur pilaf already contains them. More so, the sauteed onion with garlic added already enhances more of its flavor and aroma.



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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Like you I also hate throwing away perfectly good food and often turn leftovers into something else. Nice job with this pairing of leftovers. Sounds good!

    • OnlineHub profile image

      OnlineHub 7 years ago from Fresno, CA, USA

      What a helpful article recipe about Chicken & Bulgur Pilaf Leftovers, thanks for sharing. It truly deserves a 5* rating and recommendation!