Instead of chicken pot pie, why not try these easy Asian Leftover Roast Chicken or Turkey Recipes. They all use up leftover rotisserie chicken, making a delicious meal perfect for busy weeknights!
Growing up in my I-lived-through-the-Japanese-occupation Grandma's house meant that the 1st rule I was taught is to Never Waste Food (or you'll be sent down to the 12th level of Hell, where you'll be pounded with the other food wasters.)
OK, that's an exaggeration- we were Chinese Christians so I wasn't taught about Chinese myths and legends- but my Grandma did take food waste very seriously. So, whenever I make roast whole chicken, I scrape off the leftover meat to cook with, and use the bones to make stock.
For years, being thrifty was deemed uncool - you'd be considered an "Aunty", which is NOT a compliment in Asian culture- but it seems like people are finally learning that it's important not to waste food. (I even have a cookbook by a 3-star Michelin chef all about the topic: Bread is Gold by Massimo Bottura!)
Anyway, back to the subject on hand. Here are 11 easy recipes, Asian-inspired, which include leftover roast chicken or turkey- just in time to use up Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers!
🐓 Uncooked Meat vs Leftovers
Sometimes when you ask for recipes to use up leftover chicken or turkey, what you get is actually a collection of recipes that have uncooked meat as an ingredient.
However, the cooking times for uncooked chicken and turkey are totally different from cooked ones (where you may just need to cook it long enough to heat it up)!
I've checked all these shredded chicken recipes to make sure they actually do use leftover cooked meat or, at least, can be made with leftovers without affecting the taste of the dish.
👩 Expert Tips
Tip #1: Try to save the dark meat instead of chicken breast- the former has more fat so is less likely to dry out when cooked a 2nd time compared to the latter!
Tip #2: if all you have left is the white meat, make sure to pair it with a rich and creamy sauce or soup to make it juicier.
Properly stored in an airtight container in the fridge (below 40F), you can keep the chicken for 2-4 days. Make sure not to leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours to avoid food-borne illness! If storing as a whole chicken, wrap it well in cling film or aluminium wrap before refrigerating.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends finishing turkey within 3-4 days (so Monday if it's your leftover Thanksgiving turkey!) If not, you can freeze the meat for a few months. To keep the leftover meat moist, add some gravy or chicken stock and butter to the meat before sealing in an airtight container.
Macaroni and Chicken Salad
Sesame and Avocado Salad
This Asian rotisserie chicken salad recipe is great for days when you want a flavorful but not creamy sauce.
Vietnamese Chicken Salad
For a flavourful but light and crunchy salad, try this Vietnamese-inspired recipe which is made with Nuoc Cham sauce.
Curry Chicken Salad
If your leftover meat is mostly chicken breast, try this curried creamy chicken salad, as the sauce will balance out the dryness of the meat!
You can also heat the leftover rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey in chicken broth to make a nourishing and warming soup for a quick meal in winter or fall. Alternatively, use either of the following soup recipes as a base!
Tip: Add red onion to the soup base for sweetness!
Chicken Fried Rice
If you have celiac disease, try this GF chicken fried rice recipe. Using leftover cooked chicken means it's done in 10 minutes, it uses ghee, which is unconventional but does give the dish a ton of flavor!
For an easy dinner that only requires 5 basic ingredients, try this chicken and rice comforting casserole, which is a great way to use up leftover rice on days when you don't have time to go to the grocery store!
This is my favourite easy leftover rotisserie chicken recipe- we make it every time we roast chicken or turkey!
If not in the mood for porridge, I sometimes toss leftover meat into noodle soups or fried noodles such as mee siam (I poach it in the soup for a few minutes to warm it up) and fried rice vermicelli for an easy weeknight meal.
Note: this porridge is also perfect with next day shredded soy sauce chicken and paired with these rice congee side dishes and toppings.
Tip: next time, you can also add some bell peppers for crunch!
For a recipe that uses an entire rotisserie chicken, try this Pho Ga recipe which uses the carcass for soup and the meat to bulk up the rice noodles!
Shredded rotisserie chicken is a great addition to wraps- since it's Korean-inspired, don't forget the green onion!
Tip: you could also use Gochujang Aioli, Greek yoghurt, shredded cheese, parmesan cheese and/or sour cream for the sauce!
(Click here for good Gochujang replacements if you can't get the original.)
If you're in the mood for Chinese, try this Hoisin-sauce wrap which uses leftover chicken breast instead. For something more filling, use Taiwanese green onions as the wrapper!
Pizza is 1 of the best leftover chicken recipes for family meals: it's popular with the young and old alike!
Note: for a Thai-style roast chicken pizza, click here!
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