It starts off so well, you have such good, wholesome intentions. You’ll roast a chicken and throughout the course of the next few days you’ll make it in to countless different gourmet meals. Now i’m queen of the roast chicken, it’s so handy to have in the fridge for salads/sandwiches/tarts/pies, oh the possibilities go on for hours. This week however, things didn’t go entirely to plan. By this i mean i may have forgotten about it a little bit. A chicken once you’ve roasted it will last in the fridge for about 4 days so you’re not too rushed but i was at day 3 and knew day 4 was unlikely to wield many successful results, so into the kitchen i ran. This was also because i had the sudden realisation that Alex would surely be back from work soon and, upon peeking in the fridge, saw not a lot to inspire. Therein lies the ‘uh-oh’ moment. Just over half a chicken and not much else, what to do? Well my hunt through the cupboards revealed a can of plum tomatoes, some red onion, some garlic and some pasta. I think you can see where i’m going with this. And so the plan was made. I’m not pretending this is anything groundbreaking here but it turned out to be surprisingly good so i thought i’d share it in case you ever have one of these moments, as no matter how bare the fridge, i think these ingredients are usually to hand in most kitchens. The other thing to say is please please please buy a decent chicken, preferably organic but at least free range. We’ve gotten into the somewhat ridiculous mindset that we need meat every day, every meal even. It shouldn’t be about quantity, it should be about quality. I completely understand that there are financial issues here but surely 1 organic chicken a week is better than 2 battery hens? They’ll taste better, they’re better for you and, well, battery farming is something we should be trying to avoid. So please, try it, for me?
The ‘uh-oh’ chicken pasta
Leftover roast chicken (i had 1/2-2/3)
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves finely sliced
500g short pasta
1 can plum tomatoes
Overflowing handful frozen peas
1 chicken stock cube (preferably organic)
1 bay leaf
Shred all your of your chicken off the bone and get a big pan of salted water on the boil (you do want a big pan as if it’s too small the pasta won’t have the space to move around and it’ll end up claggy). In a separate pan, fry the onion and garlic until soft but not coloured in a little oil, then add the chilli powder- i used about a tsp of hot chilli powder but it’s totally up to you.
Tip your can of tomatoes into a bowl and scrunch them up between your fingers until they’re a pulpy mush.
Then add them to the pan and add the bay leaf. Fill the empty tomato can with water and add to the pan along with a chicken stock cube. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer.
Add the shredded chicken and the peas and simmer until the sauce has thickened a little and everything is piping hot.
Whilst everything is simmering, cook your pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain and toss through the sauce. Make sure you do this in the pan so that everything is nicely coated and hot when you serve it. All you need to do now is dish it up and top with some grated parmesan and you’re good to go. Crisis averted.