I love cooking whole chickens. I usually cook two at a time, half a lemon in each cavity, roasting them to golden goodness on a weekend afternoon. Not only does it mean you have a delicious roast lunch or dinner to enjoy, but there are all those wonderful leftovers! I don’t just mean leftover chicken either. I also cool and refrigerate any potatoes, vegetables, stuffing – if it’s leftover, I keep it.
One of the things I love to make with these leftovers is this leftovers casserole. It was inspired by a recipe on a Stove Top Stuffing package but I’ve taken it to a new level. First of all, there’s no canned soup in it, and second, you don’t have to use Stove Top, you can use leftover homemade stuffing. Guilty confession – I do use Stove Top from time to time. In fact, I used it when I photographed this recipe. I know it is full of additives, but my family and I love it, and we only have it from time to time for a treat.
You can use any leftover vegetables in my leftovers casserole but in terms of potatoes new potatoes work best. You can roughly chop up roast potatoes, but be careful not to chop them too finely or they will make the sauce to rich. Or leave the potatoes out of the recipe and use leftover mashed potatoes to top the recipe instead of stuffing.
Not only is this a great dish to help you avoid food waste, you will not believe how delicious it is. The quantities I have listed will serve four hungry adults, but the three of us often manage to polish this off by ourselves!
You will need a large casserole dish, lightly greased with a little olive oil or butter.
1 to 2 cups leftover vegetables
about 1 cup leftover potatoes, sliced
1 cup leftover chicken, white and dark meat, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
¼ cup Madeira or sherry (optional)
about 1½ cups chicken stock
½ cup milk, half and half or cream
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups leftover stuffing (or one package of Stove Top stuffing, made according to package directions)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (160°C or 150°C for a fan oven).
Layer the vegetables with the sliced potatoes and finally the chicken in the casserole dish.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour to make a roux. Cook for a minute or two, whisking constantly. Whisk in the Madeira or sherry if using.
Gradually add the chicken stock, a little at a time, until the sauce becomes like a fairly thick soup. (You may not need all the chicken stock.)
Gradually add the milk, cream or half an half, a bit at a time, until the sauce is thick enough to help bind the vegetables and meat together, but not too thick (sort of like a cream soup). Once again, you may not need all the milk.
Carefully pour the hot sauce over the vegetables and meat in the casserole dish, stirring gently to mix through. Top with the stuffing, spreading it evenly over the top of the casserole.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the stuffing is turning golden brown and the filling is bubbling a bit. You can serve straight from the casserole at the table.