Leftovers - Roast Chicken & Fettuccine
What to do with stuff like this?
You couldn't resist, the roast chicken was on sale. A whole roast chicken at your local supermarket for a dollar less than you usually pay -- who can resist an offer like that? It was good three nights ago, but there was so much on that bird that we could not eat it all. So, what do we do now with the leftovers? Well, we can start by feeling fortunate, for leftovers like this can be turned into yet another delicious meal -- with some help from a few other ingredients.
For starters, tear off the remaining meat,* add some interesting but easy-to-come-by items to it, a little sauce, and serve it over fettuccine. A true transformation!
Leftover roast chicken is a very valuable treasure. It is simple and easy to utilize in dishes that are first-class in every way, not an idea we usually associate with the word "leftovers."
The treatment shown here -- this particular answer to the title question -- is only one of many possible ways to deal with this treasure. A delicious, simple way, but only one. The hope is that it will inspire new ideas, as well as put something irresistible in front of hungry diners.
* If there is none, or none to speak of, we can always make soup. Even the bones of leftover roast chicken are valuable!
Garlic, oil, scallions, rosemary, oregano
For starters, saute smashed garlic, EVOO, sliced scallions and a bit of rosemary and a pinch of oregano in a large frying pan. (For EVOO, click here.)
The rosemary here was picked fresh from the garden, but the dried works well, too. The bright green of fresh rosemary, though, is a real addition to the visual appeal of what we are making here.
The whole thing is going to come out great. You'll see.
Add some snow peas
Put in some thin slices of carrot and some snow peas, mainly for color. As mentioned, color is a very important aspect of culinary appeal, and bright, fresh, diverse colors like these fit the bill.
No snow peas? Try any other green vegetable, broccoli, for example. In a pinch, you can even just take some of the regular peas, frozen in their package in your freezer, and add those. In fact, I think that adding frozen peas to things like this is one of the best ways to make use of them.
A sliced Roma tomato in there adds both color and flavor, yet another color and yet another flavor. If you are a world-famous painter, this dish we are making is for you -- and just think, we started with humble leftovers.
This is going over fettuccine, after all, so the tomato is practically mandatory.
Here we go all out, an absolute riot of color and flavor.
Add some prosciutto and some capicola. Cut these two delicious staples of Italian cuisine into strips which complement the snow peas.
We are aiming to make something irresistible. The prosciutto and the capicola tip this all over from the merely highly enticing to the absolutely irresistible. Just take a look at the big picture below.
We haven't forgotten the leftovers, though you might have thought that by now. Add the chicken pieces, and make some adjustments.
Some more olive oil. A little soy sauce.
Some capers. Capers are small but they add delight to any dish, delight that is way out of proportion to their size.
Add some vegetable broth also. We want the sauce to be liquid enough to coat the pasta, but not so much broth that the pasta topping we are making here turns into a soup.
The final result
The fettuccine cooks in about nine minutes.
One of the many good things about the colorful and tasty ingredients we have filled the saute pan with is that we can keep them warm there a while while we attend to the pasta, without losing flavor.
Drain and fork a serving of fettucine onto each plate. Top with the "sauce" -- the leftover chicken, the snow peas, etc. -- we have just created.
Sure looks delicious.
What about a topping for this topping?
Final feta result
Crumbled feta cheese makes a great topping on top of the other toppings we have prepared so carefully here.
We could use shaved or ground parmesan as well.
We have made a triumph out of leftovers.
Roast chicken is an incredibly popular dish, worldwide. The development of commercial rotisseries has greatly accelerated the rate at which the dish has spread and the amounts of roast chicken that is consumed. Restaurants specializing in roast chicken of course made great displays of chickens roasting on rotisseries, but it is the use of these rotisseries on a grand scale by supermarkets that has really been the major factor in this trend. It is hard to think of any dish that gives such value for money as that roast chicken you can pick up at your local market -- especially during a dollar off sale.
In putting the leftovers to such creative use as here, we may be launching a whole new era in the story of the roast chicken. What do you think?
Real Meal. Unlike fancy food mags, where images are hyped and food itself is secondary, all pix shown here are from a real meal, prepared and eaten by me and my friends. No throwing anything away till perfection is achieved. This is the real deal --- a Real Meal.