I’m really really big on quick cooking.
That’s cooking in as minimal time as possible, without skimping on quality or flavour. It’s not about making a meal in the time it’d take to order a Big Mac, we all know that’s not possible all the time. But it is, if you have leftovers at the ready, which is a big big part of the quick cooking process.
Quick cooking is about utilising what you’re making so it goes further and lasts longer. It’s about cooking to save you time and money. It’s cooking to save you time washing up, using less pans, using less electricity, using less water. It’s cooking smarter not harder and one of the big motto’s underpinning my quick cooking philosophy:
COOK ONCE EAT TWICE.
It seems simple, but so many people aren’t doing this. We’ve been conditioned to think we need to cook a new meal from scratch every meal of everyday. But we most certainly do not.
I want the quickest recipes, that taste good and make me feel great. I want to be able to cook them in as little time as possible. BONUS ROUND: If I can cook one thing and get many many uses out of it. This is where you can cut serious time in the kitchen. You’re essentially putting your ingredients to work for YOU, you’ll save time cooking, save money, save washing up dishes upon dishes and you’ll get to spend more time doing what needs to be done…. LIFE.
I know you’re like me, I don’t have all the time in the world to spend making breakfast, lunch, dinners, snacks. I have work (more cooking.. lucky me), a husband, friends to see, fitness goals, a business to run, a blog to build, new recipes to create and share with you and in amongst there time out for myself.
This motto: cook once eat twice can transform even the most unenthusiastic cooks life. Actually, that’s who would love this the most.
ROAST CHICKEN IS A TOTAL WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER.
Over the years it has become a ritual to roast a chook once a week. I pick one up on a Thursday or Friday (PS: at my Coles supermarket, the organic chickens are on sale on a Thursday… it could be the same at your local shop too).
I’d then roast that thing ASAP, preferably on the Thursday for dinner that night. I love that a roast chicken is a set and forget meal, you can season it as minimally as you like before popping it in the oven and getting on with life. That bird will cook away unattended and is fuss free cooking at its best.
HOW TO ROAST THE PERFECT CHICKEN
My 2 favourite roast chicken flavour combinations are:
1. herbs from the garden (thyme, parsley and rosemary), butter, garlic, salt, pepper. I chop the garlic in chunks and place under the skin with the remaining ingredients.
2. coconut oil, garlic, cinnamon, cumin. I melt the coconut oil and mix in the spices, once combined I massage over my chicken skin.
45 minutes per kg @ 180 degrees is a winner every time. The juices will run clear when it’s cooked through.
Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before digging in.
STORE YOUR LEFTOVER ROAST CHICKEN
I leave the chicken to cool for 15 minutes, until its safe to handle.
I take all the meat off the bone and separate into 2 handful (approx 2 serves) portions. I place the portions in snap lock bags and keep 1 or 2 for the fridge and the rest I freeze. For perfectly cooked, ready to go roast chicken.
LEFTOVER ROAST CHOOK: 4 WAYS
1. Broth (stock)
Broth is the best way to get more bang for your buck from your leftover roast chicken. Utilising the bones of the chicken that usually end up in the bin. We cook them slowly over a low heat to bring out the nutrients (especially gelatin) from the bones themselves.
Balancing, great for gut health, healing, grounding, helps boost the immune system, warming. Not to mention a good way to add extra health and flavour to your meals. What’s not to love about a good broth?
I also love how easy it is to make. It’s pretty hard to stuff up a broth. You can prep and have your soup bubbling on the stove in 10 minutes, 5 if you’re fast. Then it’s set and forget (my favourite type of cooking).
2. Add to your favourite salad
K.I.S.S = Keep it simple salads
My favourite salads are simple.
Grab, chop, mix, dress, season, eat. Is how it goes in my mind.
Having roast chicken on hand is a great starting point to a tasty filling salad.
- Leftover roast chicken
- Handful of baby spinach or greens
- Half a handful of parsley
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Carrot/zucchini/cucumber, grated
- 1/2 lemon, squeezed
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3. Creamy chicken mixup
I can’t even tell you how I came up with this recipe. It was a stoke of genius. It’s a meal that gets better overnight, so always always make a big batch and keep leftovers in the fridge.
Satay sauce always seemed impossible to cook. This delightful sauce was always reserved for a trip to my favourite thai restaurant, that really rocked a salty spicy sauce balance. Yet it’s pretty simple to make and works so well with leftover roast chicken.
- Sautee 1/2 chopped brown onion, 1 garlic clove, 1 thumb chopped ginger with 1 teaspoon coconut oil.
- Add chicken to heat through.
- Add 2 tablespoons nut butter (or peanut butter), 1 tablespoon tamari, 1/2 teaspoon raw honey. Mix together and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup water and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve with brown rice, vermicelli noodles or zucchini noodles.
Find this recipe useful? Share with someone who would benefit from a few tasty quick cooking tips.
Share your roast chicken creations with Lunch Lady Lou with the hashtag #lunchladylou and @lunchladylou
Have a cooking question? Email Lou!