Christmas is fast approaching. Many households will have a roast bird of some kind with roast vegetables for Christmas lunch, as well as the inevitable leftovers. With a little planning the enormous amount of work put into one meal can pay off for days to come.
Here’s how to do it. Tear off all the remaining meat from the carcase (I’m using chicken but it can be turkey) and put it in a covered container in the fridge. Ditto with the vegetables. Place the remaining chicken bones in a large pot, fill to about 5cm from the top with cold water and add a couple of chopped sticks of celery, a peeled and quartered onion and a chopped carrot. Throw in a handful of parsley stalks and bring to the boil, lowering immediately to a simmer. Keep it bubbling gently for 3 hours. Strain the stock, cool, and refrigerate.
There are several ways to proceed from here. For lunch, roughly chop up the leftover chicken and roast vegetables, toss with some grated cheddar, gruyere or parmesan and fill some jaffles before toasting. Serve cut in triangles with a salad.
The featured salad can be made with just about any leftover meat- turkey, pork, ham or lamb.
A risotto, using the chicken stock, is a quick and easy meal for up to six people. Made simply with the addition of saffron and finished with the chopped roast vegetables, most of the preparation is already done.
It’s relatively simple for a competent cook to put together delicious dishes with great ingredients, but the mark of a really good cook is how cunningly the leftovers are used.
LEFTOVER CHICKEN, ROAST VEGETABLE AND MACADAMIA SALAD (photo)
Toast macadamia nuts in a pan on medium heat (without oil). Move them around constantly until they’re lightly coloured. Place aside to cool and then roughly chop. Shred or slice chicken meat into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Cut roast vegetables into smaller pieces if need be and add to bowl with chopped rocket and cooled nuts. Dress with oil and vinegar, season with salt, toss and arrange in serving plates. Finish with a few turns of cracked pepper. Serves 4 as a quick lunch with crusty bread.
Wine: Verdelho or Albarinho
SAFFRON RISOTTO WITH LEFTOVER ROAST VEGETABLES
Place chicken stock in a pot and bring to boil. In a large, wide pan heat the butter, add the onions and lightly fry until transparent- do not let them colour. Add the rice and stir until the grains become transparent. De-glaze with the wine, allowing the wine to completely evaporate. Add a couple of ladles of boiling stock, then saffron and simmer until the liquid is almost entirely incorporated. Keep adding the stock a little at a time till almost cooked (about 20 minutes). Add chopped vegetables and stir in with a couple pinches salt. Remove from heat, remaining butter and parmesan, stirring in vigorously until creamy. Rest for 3-4 minutes with lid on before serving. Serves 4-6 as substantial first course.