Friday, April 17, 2009

Leftover chicken hash

Perhaps not the most appealing title to this post. I tried to think of a more enticing name for this delicious way with leftover roast chicken but my imagination eluded me! I'm not exactly sure what constitutes a 'hash' and when I try to search on the internet, I simply get guided to information on cannabis. For those concerned, I can assure you that this dish is 100% legal!

Basically, what I understand by a culinary 'hash' is a dish involving left-overs which is thrown together rather haphazardly - a mish mash, or hash I suppose!

This particular dish is closely based on a dish in Nigella's Christmas book. Her recipe is one for leftover turkey and came to her via her agent. I cooked it up at Christmas with one of my nephews as sous-chef and it was a huge hit. When recently I found myself with lots of leftover chicken and most of the other key ingredients, I decided to cook it up again.

The important thing about this dish is that it is entirely flexible - you can use whatever you may have knocking about in the fridge. I'd suggest that they key elements are the peppers, flaked almonds, olives and Parmesan. The rest you can meddle with 'till your heart is content. My recipe deviates somewhat from Nigella's - she uses soured cream whilst I only had creme fraiche. I added courgettes and, at Christmas, added some frozen peas.

Quantity wise this is equally adaptable. At Christmas I made this for a crowd of eight. Last week I made it into a speedy supper for one. Nigella gives precise measurements but in the spirit of the 'throw it together' nature of the dish, I've tried to keep it simple with handfuls and mugfuls. No matter that your hands are bigger or smaller than mine - the recipe is a flexible one!

Chicken hash
Modified from 'Ed's Victorious Turkey Hash' from 'Nigella's Christmas'

Ingredients to serve two

handful of flaked almonds
Knob of butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
2 red peppers, cored and chopped into chunks
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
2-3 generous handfuls of cold shredded chicken
generous handful of pitted lack olives, roughly chopped
1 courgette, sliced in half lengthways and sliced into half-moons
2 tbsp creme fraiche or soured cream
2 tbsp chicken stock or hot water if you can't be bothered!
1 large egg
few dashes of Tabasco sauce
Handful of flaked Parmesan cheese
handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Toast the almonds in a hot dry pan and remove to a plate until needed.

2. Melt butter and oil in the pan and add the onions, peppers, celery and courgettes. Cook over a medium heat for around 10 minutes until nicely softened. Stir from time to time.

3. Add in the garlic and give a good stir. Cook for a minute or so before adding the chicken. Cook until piping hot - about 10 minutes. Season with pepper and a little salt (remember that the olives and parmesan are salty).

4. Add the toasted almonds and olives to the pan and stir to combine.

5. Whisk together the cream, stock and egg and then pour over the top of the hash. Quickly stir it all together to mix and combine and then shake in Tabasco sauce to taste.

6. Just before you remove from heat, shave over a generous helping of Parmesan and stir until it starts to melt. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the top just before serving.


Lucy said...

Oooh yummo! Sounds like a great and healthy way to use up chicken :)

Sylvie said...

I'll have to try this next time I have left-over chicken or turkey!

Sam said...

This looks like a fantastic way to use up left over chicken.

Unfortunately chicken gets eaten so fast round here that I never have any!

Katie said...

Its the leftovers that can often make the nicest meals.