If left over roast chicken, bacon and cheese pasta doesn’t become your main reason for actually having a roast chicken, then I don’t know what will. It’s become the best thing about having roast chicken! It has everything that you might want in a dish! Creamy, meaty & pasta-y! Delish!
I don’t know about you but in our household, we try and stretch meat out as much as we can! It’s not a money thing at all, it’s a convenience thing. It’s also because left over meat makes the best dinners sometimes. Taking all the rich roasted meat flavours and adding it to different elements is just the best. We often use left over roast lamb with a Moroccan style couscous. Left over roast beef in gravy (if you ever actually get any) will 9 times out of 10 become a chilli. The possibilities are endless!
Yesterday we had roast chicken with all the trimmings. I made the most amazeballs cheats pork, sage and onion stuffing balls with it. Needless to say there weren’t any left overs of that! Today however that means it’s left over roast chicken, bacon and cheese pasta. A dish that has definitely become a staple our house.
I’ve always found the best way to reuse chicken is to cook it out in a good homemade chicken stock. It breaks down the protein even further and just injects a huge amount of extra flavour. You can make your own chicken stock following this recipe here and is another great way to really make the chicken go that extra mile.
How to make left over roast chicken, bacon and cheese pasta.
So to make this dish I start with cubed pancetta. If you don’t have pancetta you can swap it out with bacon. This is a great way to use up any rashers of bacon in the fridge too. Just cut them into strips if swapping them for cubed pancetta. Add your pancetta/bacon to a cold shallow cast iron caser pan and turn the heat up to medium. You want the pancetta to start to render the fat and release it’s beautiful flavour pretty early on.
When the pancetta has coloured nicely, add a tsp of salted butter. Once that’s melted add a finely chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic and fry them out until they’re soft and beginning to take some colour on. Add 200ml of chicken stock, some dried mixed herbs (or fresh if you have) and then as much of the chicken as you want to use. Turn the heat down and leave to simmer.
Get your pasta on the boil in some heavily salted water. Cook until it’s al’dente and drain, reserving a small amount of the water. Add half a tub of cream cheese (I used Philadelphia light because it’s what I had In my fridge!) to your casserole. Add the cooked pasta and the reserved water and combine all together. The cream cheese will emulsify and thicken up the sauce.
Add some fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to serve and eat immediately! Use homemade garlic flat-breads to mop up the sauce! Delicious!
So here’s the recipe card for you. Enjoy!
Left Over Roast Chicken, Cheese & Bacon Pasta
- 200 ml good chicken stock homemade is best here
- 75 g pancetta bacon will be fine if you dont have pancetta, cut it into strips.
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced.
- 1 tsp salted butter
- 1 tbsp mixed dried herbs Or use fresh if you have to hand
- 100 g cream cheese
- Left Over roast chicken
- 200 g dried fusili or penne pasta whatever you have in the cupboard will also do
- In a cold shallow cast iron casserole or Saute pan, add your pancetta and turn on to a medium heat. Move occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick. You want to render as much of the fat out as you can.
- add a tsp on salted butter and add your onion and garlic. Cook until softened and starting to colour. Don't let it catch.
- add the chicken stock, dried herbs and chicken and bring to the simmer.
- following the instructions on your packet for the pasta and get this on now.
- when the pasta is cooked, drain the water, reserving some of it.
- Add the cream cheese, pasta and the reserved water to the casserole and give it a good stir. Turn the heat right down and the cream cheese and pasta water will emulsify and thicken.
- Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley and serve