• 1 whole chicken
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli seeds and bits (not powder)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 jar of mango chutney
  • 1 knob of ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 onions
  • Handful of basmati rice

This is not a recreation of a chicken dish one might buy from the takeaway. This is in fact chicken that is made using leftover takeaway. Blergh I hear you sound. Not bleurgh. And not a health hazard. All will become clear.

I have an aversion to throwing ANYTHING away. I mean anything. Things I do to avoid waste:

  • whizz fruit up with natural yogurt that’s about to go off and freeze it
  • store the rinds of parmasean in the freezer to add to rissottos at a later date
  • make parnsip chutney with my father in law’s annual glut
  • stock the freezer with ready peeled and cut parsnip chips
  • freeze the ends of stale bread no-one will eat and later whizz into breadcrumbs
  • freeze egg whites to make into macarons/meringues
  • freeze excess crumble topping for a later date
  • freeze double cream dregs into ice cube trays for stirring into soup
  • make a lot of soup
  • turn any evening meal into a lunch box by adding cous cous and lemon juice
  • the list goes on. I will stop now. It’s boring and repetitive on the freezer theme.

Anyway, make this when you have zero time and want masses of taste. It’s zingy and fiery and could possibly ward off colds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken with murderous slashes across its whole body
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli seeds and bits (not powder)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 jar of mango chutney (or rather 4 small pots as delivered by our local takeaway and saved by me)
  • 1 knob of ginger, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 onions, peeled, chopped in half and then sliced but still left in their halves
  • A good handful of basmati rice or however much you trough through

Preheat the oven to Gas 5/190C and take a lidded casserole dish big enough to easily fit your chicken into. Pop the onions onto the bottom of the casserole dish and place the chicken breast side down on the top. They act as a kind of rack for at least some of the cooking. Then mix the other ingredients (except the rice) together in a bowl and pour over the chicken. You could massage with your hands but I decided against this move for fear of chilli hands. Put the lid on the casserole dish and place in the oven for about 90 minutes. Give the chicken a prod and a stir every 30 minutes to make sure the mango marinade works its magic.

Once the juices are running clear turn the heat down to keep warm level and then put the basmati rice on to boil. Once it’s done, drain and put back into the saucepan. Then add a load of the oniony-mangoey-chilli mixture from the casserole dish, put a tea towel over the saucepan, then the lid and leave for 7 minutes. Take the lid off, fork through the rice gently and serve with the chicken. If you have fresh coriander then chop and scatter to add some healthy green colour.

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