According to published data, the average family throws away £60 worth of food each month! Just imagine, that’s the equivalent of THROWING AWAY SEVERAL WHOLE ROAST CHICKENS! You just wouldn’t, would you? But, of course, it doesn’t usually happen like that. It’s a bit of waste here and there having succumbed to BOGOF offers when you’re shopping, so you don’t notice how it mounts up.  I’ve long been an advocate of not wasting food or money. In fact, I find it a veritable challenge to come up with interesting meals using fridge leftovers and store cupboard items on many a week night. It’s a standing joke in our house that we’re always eating leftovers. And, trust me, we have a lot of leftovers after a week of cooking 200 meals for customers.

These thoughts were in my mind when I was asked to do a cookery demonstration at the Crediton Food Festival this weekend [17-18 June] http://www.creditonfoodfestival.co.uk. So I decided to keep my demo very REAL (after all that’s my business name) and prepare a tasty, stylish meal from leftover roast chicken to encourage people to LOVE LEFTOVERS and reduce food (and money) waste. Here are the recipes I’m going to make and all in about 30 minutes (I hope!).

Chicken Kofta in a Honey and Lemon Glaze served with Quick Pickled Onion (Serves 3-4)

Make the onion first and let it pickle while you make the kofta.

Quick Pickled Onion

Pickled red onion turns a lovely shade of pink

Zest of 1 lemon cut into julienne strips
3 tbsp white-wine vinegar
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into 3mm-thick slices
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp of salt

Put the strips of lemon skin in a bowl with the vinegar, onion, sugar and salt. Massage the onions for a minute, until the liquid turns pink, then leave to pickle: the longer you leave them, the brighter and pinker they become.

Chicken Kofta

Chicken kofta ready for cooking….

250g cooked chicken
50g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
50g mixed sunflower/pumpkin seeds
1 small red onion
1-2 garlic cloves (to taste)
1 small free range egg
1 handful parsley (stalks too)
2-3 tsp ground coriander (to taste)
2-3 tsp ground cumin (to taste)
1 leftover roast potato or 50 mashed potato to bind (80g)
Olive oil for frying
1 tbsp of fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp clear honey
Black pepper freshly ground

Blitz the onion and parsley in a processor. Add cooked chicken and potato and blitz again. In a large mixing bowl, add the blitzed ingredients and combine them with the fruit, seeds, pepper, lemon zest and spices. Add the beaten egg and mix together by hand until the ingredients are evenly distributed into the mix.

Make your kofta by taking 1 ice cream scoop full of mix per ball. Shape into kofta shapes, patties or balls.

Drizzle in enough olive oil to coat the base of the pan and fry the kofta for several minutes until golden brown on one side before turning and repeating until all sides are browned. Drizzle the honey straight into the pan followed by the lemon juice – take care as it might spit!

You can find more recipes for using up your leftovers at https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/