I roast a whole chicken every second day just to keep up with my family’s lunches. Whenever the fridge door is opened, a partly devoured cooked chicken can be found, waiting to fill sandwiches or simply be ripped apart by ravenous boys. I cannot bare to throw any food out, leftovers are always reworked into a meal. So if the chicken has been there longer than a couple of days, I make sure it is transformed into something we can eat for dinner.
Today I am looking at what appears to be about a third of a chicken, partly mangled, but the breast meat has not been taken, so I’m going to shred it all up and make some chicken ravioli for dinner. You can, of course, just cook a couple of chicken breasts and cool them to make this from scratch, but today I’m using leftovers because they’re there.
Ravioli are a labour of love, as is most hand made food, but not difficult. You can put almost anything inside ravioli, as long as the filling is not too wet or too dry. It needs to be the consistency of raw meatball mixture They are a great vehicle for leftovers, or for hiding vegetables into your children’s food if they’re a little fussy.
I have some bread hanging around that is a little stale, so in keeping with my ‘waste not want not’ philosophy I blitz the bread in my food processor to make breadcrumbs. You could use bought packet breadcrumbs instead. A little cheese, some fresh herbs, some mortadella (an Italian cold meat) for that extra flavour, some seasoning and an egg to bind the mixture and the filling is ready to go.
I sometimes hand cut the ravioli, just use a fluted pastry cutter wheel, but today I want to make small ones, as they are my youngest son’s favourite. I use a metal ravioli form that I lay rolled pasta sheets on, fill with my mixture, then I place another sheet on top, roll it with a rolling pin to stick it together, then turn it out, cut to separate and voila!
Sure, the kitchen is doused in flour and its taken a little patience and time, but my beautiful little square pillows of goodness are ready to go.
So tonight my family will be eating yesterday’s chicken, redressed and transformed into something that may actually be tastier than how it began.
Click here for the recipe: Chicken ravioli in Neapolitana sauce