You know how it is. You have leftovers, and you need to use them. Or you are tired, and all you want to do is use the leftovers. Either way, this is leftover city and we have to use them up. Leftovers get a bad rep but they are the best thing in a kitchen. Flavours are usually at their best the next day, at the very least they can be livened up quickly and you can have a terrific meal in minutes.
Take a chicken. Say, leftover roast chicken. So good on its own, wonderful with mayo and stuffing in a sandwich, but what about looking East and giving it a little heat, then pumping it awake with some aromatics, some nuts for texture (I am putting peanuts in everything at the moment) and you have a dish that will make you want to roast a chicken and not eat it, but save it for this. Of course you can just roast a chicken thigh for one person to order, which I also did today.
Plus, isn’t it hot? I want something refreshing, bright and quick. This takes 10 minutes to put together and I have eaten this three times since I came up with it last week. Rice noodles with shredded chicken, fried peanuts, spring onions, a little hot chilli, a pinch and punch of garlic and ginger, tickle of fresh coriander, lick of fish sauce and sprinkle of fresh lime.
Sounds good, right? Here is how.
Recipe: Chicken Rice Noodles with Peanuts, Chilli & Coriander
100g thick rice noodles (thin will do fine too)
300g leftover chicken, shredded
1 chilli, as hot as you like, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp peanuts (peeled or unpeeled are fine)
4 spring onions, chopped finely
a handful of fresh coriander leaves
juice of one lime and extra lime wedges to serve
2 tbsp good fish sauce
sea salt to taste
light oil for frying
1 tbsp fresh mint leaves (optional – they give another fresh layer)
Cook the rice noodles according to packet instructions (mine needed to be soaked in boiling water for 12 minutes).
Sauté the chicken and peanuts in a little light oil for a few minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Add the spring onions, stir through, then add the noodles. Mix until well combined. Add the lime and fish sauce and taste for seasoning. The fish sauce acts as a salt (it has a lot of salt in) so you may not need any. Adjust lime and fish sauce for your taste if required. Finish with the coriander and mint (if using), stirring through, and serve with an extra lime wedge on the side.
Enjoy! This eats really well hot or cold. Perfect lunch or picnic food too.