Leftover Chicken Curry and Vegetables is a versatile dish that can clean out the ‘fridge while making dinner a snap!
Welcome to a dish I’ve made… practically forever! For good reason I might add!
Leftover Chicken Curry and Vegetables is based almost entirely on using up foods (chicken and vegetables) lying around the kitchen. And when it all comes together, it’s soooo tasty and satisfying!
For anyone who’s a dedicated locavore there are times when the vegetables overwhelm. In summer, there aare over-exuberant farmer’s market trips, in fall the bountiful harvest (your own or CSA). Even in spring, there may be leftovers in your freezer, basement or spare ‘fridge!
Because of this, this recipe has a lot of flexibility in the vegetables it uses. I tend to rely heavily on broccoli/cauliflower, carrots and peppers but have added chunks of rutabaga, green beans and more. It seems to come together no matter what!
In truth, I’ve been know to serve a rotisserie or broasted chicken just to have chicken leftovers for this!
Why You’ll Love This!
Healthy. This dish is loaded with healthy vegetables and chicken.
Tasty. A delicious blend of spices adds flavor and pulls everything together. Don’t fall for “you only need curry powder and ginger.”
Frugal & Waste Reducing. Do you cringe every time you toss (even compost) a head of cauliflower that you discovered in the back of your refrigerator? Me too.
What You’ll Need
- Oil. To sautee the vegetables
- Onion, garlic. For aromatic flavor
- Vegetables. Your choice!
- Curry powder, fresh ginger, coriander, cinnamon, hot pepper flakes, salt. Add flavor
- Coconut milk. Adds flavor and creates the sauce.
- Chopped apple. Raisins. A sweet compliment to the spices.
- Chicken. The protein.
- Lime juice. Adds flavor.
- Flour. To thicken the sauce. You can substitute a gluten free thickener like cornstarch or tapioca starch.
- Rice. For serving
- No special tools are needed!
Step by Step Directions
Add remaining vegetables and cook until just slightly crisp. If using a combination of fresh and frozen, add frozen later so they don’t overcook. Mix in spices and salt, until well distributed. Add coconut milk. When coconut milk is all melted, add pre-cooked chicken, diced apple and raisins.
To thicken, mix lime juice with two tablespoons of flour, then stir this in. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened.
How to Serve
Curried chicken is often served with rice. That’s wonderful because it helps soak up all that flavorful sauce! Because it already has vegetables and protein, Leftovers Chicken Curry is really a complete meal. But I always love to add a salad!
I love serving curry with a good chutney but it isn’t required. When I ran out of homemade chutney and we didn’t like the commercial brand I had, I decided that my original curry recipe lacked pizazz. So I added some of the chutney ingredients directly to the curry and the problem was solved.
But I still love the punch of flavor from a big spoonful of chutney if you have a good one!
As I’ve been saying, this dish is very adaptable!
For vegan or vegetarian, use tempeh or firm tofu, or your favorite meat substitute and leave out the chicken.
To make gluten-free, thicken with potato starch, tapioca flour or your favorite thickener, instead of flour.
And as I’ve mentioned, have fun with whatever vegetable combinations are available to you!
Per Foodsafety.gov, chicken leftovers will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or up to six months in the freezer . Reheating is easy on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Tips & FAQs
What kind of chicken can I use? This is a very accommodating recipe so use whatever you have. Breast, thighs, rotisserie, fried. You can even use leftover Thanksgiving turkey!
Don’t omit the salt. This recipe doesn’t have any of the ingredients that commonly add sodium–things like broth and butter. I am cautious adding salt to food but when I left it out, the curried chicken tasted flat. Salt corrected that.
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1 large onion, cut in big chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups mixed vegetables of your choice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 – 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes or cayenne, to taste
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt (since no broth or salted butter you do need this)
- 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2-3 Tablespoons curry powder (to taste)
- 2 cans coconut milk (14 ounce cans)
- 1 apple, cored and diced (a generous ½ cup diced)
- ½ cup raisins, chopped if large
- 1/2 (cooked) rotisserie chicken
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons flour (or 1 Tablespoon corn starch for gluten free)
- Cooked rice for serving
- (Optional) Cilantro or parsley as garnish, Chutney for serving
Sautee onion in oil until just tender, abou4 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute
Add remaining vegetables and cook until just slightly crisp, aboout 10 minutes. If using a combination of fresh and frozen, add frozen later so they don’t overcook.
Mix in spices and salt, until well distributed. Add coconut milk.
When coconut milk is all melted, add pre-cooked chicken, diced apple and raisins.
Mix lime juice with two tablespoons of flour (or the cornstarch), then stir this in. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened.
Serve over rice—ideally with chutney.
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