Love Your Leftovers: chicken risotto

Love your Leftovers You need to love your leftovers!

I thought I would start a new occasional series called Love Your Leftovers. I hate food waste, so I try to use it all up. It saves lots of money too!

I also find a love your leftovers approach makes me more creative, and try food combinations that are a bit different.

Last night I decided to use the leftover chicken from the Sunday roast in a risotto. We also had leftover cooked runner beans and courgettes from the annual glut, so obviously they had to go in too! I found a 400g box of risotto rice in Lidl the other day – I knew it would come in handy!

I started by using the carcass, along with a couple of others I had stored in the freezer, for home made stock, but you could use a couple of stock cubes.

Here is the recipe, which serves 4.

Chicken Risotto

350g risotto rice
300 fl oz chicken stock, ideally hot
Left over cooked chicken, however much you have
1 red or yellow pepper, diced
1 small courgette, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp smoked paprika
A handful of fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 tsp dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
About 10-15 black olives
Any other left over veg you may have hanging around!
Olive oil

Saute your chopped vegetables in some oil for around 5-10 minutes. Add the rice and stir for a minute or so. Add about half of the stock and stir. As it starts to be absorbed, add the remainder. Stir frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the pan. Add the paprika and season to taste. When the rice is almost soft enough to eat, add your leftover chicken, olives, parsley and any other veggie leftovers.

This is pretty much a meal in itself but is also nice with a salad or green vegetable.

Do you love your leftovers? What would you do with the excess meat from the Sunday roast?



15 thoughts on “Love Your Leftovers: chicken risotto

  1. What a good idea for a new series, Jane. I love it when we have cold, cooked chicken in the fridge. I tend to make a simple chicken curry – and indeed, I did this yesterday – but another recipe is making a cheese sauce, and saute-ing some onions and then putting them in an ovenproof fish, with pieces of chicken on the top, then the cheese sauce and baking until all nice and hot and serving with salad and crusty bread.
    Like you, we hate waste. Husband was brought up during the war and food waste is a virtual crime to him! Thank you for this new recipe.
    Margaret P

    • PS I had totally forgotten that I add cooked chicken to a stir fry and also make chicken soup (doesn’t everyone?) and also I make a lovely puff pastry pie with cold chicken, or turkey or duck. This involves making a sauce, sauteeing onions, then adding flour to make a roux, adding red wine and allowing it to thicken, also some stock, herbs, seasoning, then mushrooms and the cooked chicken. Allow that to cool and make ‘envelope’ pies with puff pastry, i.e. cut into a square and then folded to resemble an envelope. This is a lovely pie, best served with some mashed potatoes, purple sprouting and a little of the red wine sauce that you reserve specially for this.

    • That cheese sauce idea sounds lovely; as i have a load of milk (bought yellow-sticker 4 pint-bottle, 55p, instead of my usual 2-pinter), and some cooked chicken to use up today, I will try it tonight! thx!

  2. Chicken curry, chicken and noodles, chicken pie, chicken cooked in coconut milk, chicken tacos or fajitas, fried up with chopped leftover spuds and veg…soup in the winter xx

  3. I guess I would use the same food to make a stir fry….so no need of the chicken stock and the rice would be left over cooked rice….an everyday staple here in Hawaii. I also will chop up cooked breadfruit into little cubes and stir fry that along with left over cooked meat with vegetables. I totally agree with the not wasting of food. It means having to check through the fridge at least once a week.

  4. When my kitchen returns from renovation, I will need to re-stock the refrigerator and freezer. Meantime, I am buying smaller amounts of food more often and noticing that I don’t waste, eat less and feel better. When I was shopping once weekly, I carried a list and planned out what I wanted to eat so very little waste there. All of these ideas are good and I wish more people were concerned with food waste.

  5. I like the challenge of using leftovers.
    Vegetables, especially when there are some boiled potatoes, are placed in a dish with seasoning. Beaten eggs are pored over the top and it’s baked in the oven. Tastes like a Spanish tortilla. I have even added bits of salad veg. We eat it with peas (petit pois because we love them) and brown sauce! Veg is also made into soup or sauces.
    Leftover chicken gets made into curry if there is enough, or mixed with veg to make pies.
    Over ripe fruit is quickly made into individual mini crumbles or puréed and frozen to be used later.
    I never leave leftovers in the fridge for more than a day. If not used then, they are transferred to the freezer.

  6. Help! I am looking at how much is 300 fl oz in cups and that must be a typo! Please help this clueless American ; )
    Recipe sounds super otherwise and I look forward to trying it and to future Love Your Leftovers posts.

    • there are 16 fluid ounces in a pint. Just googled it and found uk fluid ounces are different to US, which I never knew! That is confusing. I would say about 2 pints but follow the guidance on the risotto pack and then your eyes to decide how much stock you need.

      • Aren’t there 20 fl oz in a pint? Please say yes……..otherwise this could account for “what went wrong and why” in my kitchen.

        Interesting blog. I came upon it recently and thoroughly enjoy it. Think we must live close by too.

  7. I buy a free-range chicken and roast it. The first meal is a proper roast dinner with gravy, veg, possibly Yorkshire puds – the works. I then strip the remaining meat off the carcass and bag it up for the freezer in small-ish portions for two – enough to embellish pasta or curry, say. The carcass is then boiled for stock, to which I add any remaining shreds of meat that fall off the bone. So several meals from one medium-size bird and nothing wasted.

  8. Super idea to do a thread on leftovers, and I love the suggestions from your readers! My issue with leftovers is that I lack imagination and end up doing the same things every time – boring! I don’t like risotto (it’s the texture), but i will follow your recipe as a stirfry with brown rice. Will let you know how it goes down….

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