Easy herb and cheese pasta made with leftover roast chicken – ABC Life

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This recipe’s a twofer, because you can’t have great second-day pan juice pasta without a fantastic first-day roast chook!

Now, I’m pretty sure the expression goes: “There are really so many ways to roast a chook.” Or something like that. Because there are. There’s the brine-and-baste, the low-and-slow, and my way: the dry-and-hot.

How to roast a chicken:

  • Leaving the chicken uncovered to dry out on the lowest shelf of the fridge for a couple of days — or at least overnight — is a lot like cultivating the crackling on roast pork. It takes a bit more planning, but the resulting shards of golden chicken skin are well worth the delayed gratification. Take it out well before you’re going to roast and leave loosely covered so that it’s not fridge-cold. Here’s how to keep it food safe.
  • Dry out and roast your bird breast-side down! This protects the delicate breast meat from overcooking before the legs do and exposes the parson’s nose (the fatty tail of the bird and my favourite bit) for maximum crunch factor.
  • Whacking the well-seasoned, oiled and lemon-stuffed chicken into the oven at a blistering 240°C, then dropping the heat right away to 200°C, gives the skin enough time to start crisping up without blistering, meaning that by the time the chook’s cooked, the skin’s evenly golden and the meat is as moist as can be.
  • For cooking time, a good rule of thumb is 30 minutes for the first kilogram, then add 20 minutes for every extra kilo. You can check that it’s done by popping a knife into the thickest part of the leg and watching for the juice to run clear.
  • To harvest the schmaltz (chicken fat) and pan juices, transfer the chicken onto a tray to rest and then pour off the liquid in the bottom of the tray into a clean, wide jar. Store this in the fridge.
  • Once the chook’s cool enough to touch, you can slice in. I prefer to serve the brown meat (legs, thighs, etc.) and leave the breasts on the frame for leftovers. But you do you.

As for the leftovers, the world’s your (chicken) oyster. There are sandwiches to make, wraps to fold, salads to dress and soups to brew. But THIS pasta is what you should be planning for lunch or dinner post-roast, posthaste.

The cool thing about this pasta is you can prep and cook the sauce in as long as the pasta takes to cook. If you’d prefer to have everything laid out before you start, all good — just know that once you’ve made it a few times, set a timer and hit autopilot. It’s the perfect midweek meal.


  • Try to find a larger bird if you can. You’ll get more bang for your buck, and more meals out of the one cooked chook.
  • If you do use a larger bird, chances are you’ll have quite the yield of pan juices and schmaltz (chicken fat) in your jar. Don’t feel like you have to use all of it for the one meal. Make it go further by bypassing some of the golden stuff on top (that’s the schmaltz) and scooping out the brown jelly (that’s the pan juices) for the pasta. Then use the schmaltz for cooking anything from soups and roast potatoes to pilaf.
  • For smaller birds, you can fake more pan juice action by drizzling a few extra glugs of olive oil into the bottom of the roasting tray.
  • I like using spaghetti or penne for this, but fusilli or any old shape in your pantry will do. You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta. My favourite is made using sorghum, but the GF pastas out there these days are topnotch.


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Source: Thanks https://www.abc.net.au/life/easy-herb-and-cheese-pasta-made-with-leftover-roast-chicken/12711240