One of the great things about entertaining over the weekend (which we do a lot) is that there are generally left overs with which to start the week. Just in case we have extra guests turn up on our doorstep at the last moment, we always make sure that we have plenty food to go around which, given that such guests don’t generally materialize, means that we usually have a fridge full come Saturday night. Chicken soup is usually the first thing to go whilst on Sunday morning the kids know to ask for the left over Challah to be made into French toast.
This past week, we’ve had one kid after another staying home with a high fever and with diminished appetites, we found ourselves with half a roasted chicken left over which, even after the kids got stuck into it tonight, still yielded a good portion of meat. I decided that making my version of chicken curry would be a good way of using it up, grabbed a large onion and some tomatoes which were too soft for salad and set to work.
In this case, I’ve used a spice mix called Ras El Hanout which means top of the shop (the Hebrew is very similar) and was traditionally a mixture of the best spices that the merchant had to offer. I can pick out ground ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and turmeric in the stuff that I got – I’m guessing there’s probably some additional spices in there too but any curry powder will do but ideally it shouldn’t be one which has been sitting at the back of the cupboard for more than a year. Or you could make your own bespoke mix if you’re feeling adventurous. The perfumes of the spices will make your home smell incredible.
The recipe is basic and very forgiving and will accommodate all sorts of variations so it’s really fantastic for left overs. Last time I made it I happened to have half a can of chickpeas so added them in and this time around I found myself out of stock (winter colds mean less left over chicken soup!) but I had a third of a bottle of wine so that went in instead and yielded a very acceptable result. You can add some veggies too if you feel like it and tofu would work well instead of the chicken if you’re that way inclined. Given my better half’s response this is going to become regular Sunday night fare!
left over chicken broken up – I used half a breast, a wing and a leg – you could of course cook some specifically for the recipe but that defeats the purpose!
1 large onion roughly diced
4 medium tomatoes roughly diced (a can would work just as well)
1 – 2 tbsp of Ras El Hanout or other spice mix (depending on how much chicken you have
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups cooking liquid such as stock or white wine
salt and pepper to taste
chili pepper to taste if you don’t get in trouble with your wife for adding it.
Fry the onions in a little oil – 5 – 6 minutes
add the spices and tomato paste, cook for 1 minute, stirring
add remaining ingredients, bring to a bubble, then cover and simmer whilst tomatoes break down and the liquid reduces
serve over rice with a beer to wash it down