What to do with leftover chicken and turkey: bang bang chicken

One recipe I turn to quite often for leftover chicken or turkey is Nigella Lawson’s recipe for bang bang turkey salad. You can find it online here.

Week Five : Leftovers - Bang Bang chicken

It’s delicious and spicy, and refreshing thanks to the spring onions and cucumber. You can serve it as part of a large party spread, using up other left overs like pie or quiche, and people will think you’ve gone to a lot of effort to create a brand new dish, when, really, you’re just sneakily feeding them your left overs. HO HO HO!


  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp chilli bean sauce (buy in Asian groceries)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp black Chinese vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 250g shredded chicken or turkey
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 20g chopped coriander
  • 20g chopped mint
  • Half cucumber
  • 6 spring onions


  • Make the sauce by heating the groundnut oil, allowing to cool slightly, then adding the sesame oil, peanut butter, chilli bean sauce, caster sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and water.
  • Mix the sauce with the shredded chicken meat and lay it over a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce,which has been covered with the mint and coriander.
  • Finely slice the spring onions, and cut the cucumber into batons. Arrange on the platter.

Week Five : Leftovers - Bang Bang chicken close up

Delicious, spicy, and satisfying!

The Royal Wedding Nosh

So, I bet you’re wondering what I actually served for MY Royal wedding watching party, right? Considering what a fuss I made about it, anyway. Well, you’re in luck – here’s my write up!
Whole table 6

So here’s the overview of the mammoth table of buffet food – we had about 20 people in all, so we didn’t want anyone to go home hungry! We nearly ran out of sandwiches, but other than that, we beat the stomachs and ended up eating leftovers for a couple of days…
Whole table 5

As you can see, the sandwiches were cut correctly into finger shapes (mwah hah hah) ala The Ritz – corner shapes are fine, but crustless finger sandwiches are the only option for a posh spread.
Whole table 2

We had a variety of sandwiches – smoked salmon and cream cheese, Belgian ham and dijon mustard with salad and baby tomatoes, caramelised onion chutney and cheese, egg mayonnaise, and of course, cucumber (boring). I love a good sandwich!
Mackerel pate 1

We also made Jamie Oliver’s mackerel pate from his British Picnic menu from 30 Minute Meals. People went nuts for this, but I really wasn’t keen. I thought I’d love it, but it sort of made me squeamish!
Heston trifle side

We also bagged Heston’s special royal trifle from Waitrose. It was incredibly pricey, and wasn’t a real trifle. All in all, it was a bit of a miss for me – vastly overshadowed by a family classic called Rennie’s Pudding, which I’ll talk about in a minute.
Heston trifle close

Heston’s trifle was really pretty though! Caramelised nuts, freeze dried strawberries, rose petals – lovely! Only trouble is, because it was topped with meringue, sitting on cream, it was pretty much destroyed as soon as you tried to take a spoonful.

Anyway, here’s the star pudding – in my humble opinion:
Rennie's pudding top

I don’t know where this pudding came from, but we’ve always had it in our family and it’s blimming delicious – and so simple! It’s just fresh fruit, covered with cream, and then topped with sugar caramel.
Rennie's pudding side

It is seriously gorgeous! Very easy, too.
Gin and tonic jelly side

I also made a gin and tonic jelly from the delicious Nigella Lawson – how English can you get, right? I’d never made jelly before, although I have made panna cotta, so it was an interesting experience. But it uses a remarkable amount of gelatine – more leaves than they even sell in one pack from the supermarket I shop at. Wowza. Maybe because it contains A QUARTER OF A LITRE OF GIN? That’s right! That’s a lot, I think. This jelly also made me realise I actually do like gin and tonic as well. But I’ll always be a Pimm’s girl at heart…
Gin and tonic jelly top down

It looks very innocent, but you should not attempt to drive or operate heavy machinery after eating this jelly…

Now onto the cake.
Victoria sponge side

Sitting proudly on top of the most expensive cake stand I have ever, and hopefully will ever, buy in my life is a Victoria sponge – a real classic. It was spruced up with some chantilly cream and blueberries and strawberries, just to give it patriotic colours. To be honest, we could have done without it, because it’s sort of, shall we say, restrained, compared to some of the outrageous puddings on offer, but I HAD to use my cake stand. This sucker cost me about £50! I’ve had my eye on one ever since I saw it on a blog somewhere – I think it was Bakerella’s, maybe. But I recently suffered a tragic loss in my life after every single damn cake stand I owned fell off the top of the fridge and smashed. I was gutted. The whole collection, gone at once. So I had to replace them, and this cake stand will hopefully last longer. I spent the whole day before the party, and the day of, shrieking at people ‘DON’T BREAK THE CAKE STAND. DO NOT TOUCH IT. IT WAS VERY EXPENSIVE’. It didn’t really create the atmosphere of relaxed, casual and classy hosting that I wanted to project, but you know, it’s still in one piece, so it was worth it.
Top of Victoria sponge

I also dusted icing sugar over the top in the shape of a doily, because, you know, it’s ENGLISH. Somehow.
Cake stand 2

This was also a new purchase just for this party (I know, ridiculous – I am still literally paying this off) – a cute cake stand from Cake Stand Heaven. You may remember me drooling over these before – LOVE them! I bought this one in green to match my nan’s china, which I inherited from her last year. Unfortunately, I also had to shout at people about this too, as you are expressly NOT supposed to pick it up using the handle on the top, as it can smash the china plates – it’s not a weight bearing handle. So of course, anytime anyone wanted to move this baby around, they used the handle on the top. Tsk.
Cake stand with flowers

My mum added these beautiful flowers to the cup right before we ate – a really nice touch! She’s also responsible for the pretty flower display on the table, she did an awesome job!

So, that was our buffet! Do you guys have any memories, photos or blog posts to share to do with your Royal Wedding party?

Sweet treats for your Royal buffet

Victoria sponge cake

Image via Wikipedia


Victoria sponge

A beautifully simple, light cake – classically British, of course – dusted with icing sugar and filled with jam would make the perfect addition to your table. Add whipped cream and fresh fruit to make it even more indulgent!

Gin and Tonic jelly

A great Nigella Lawson recipe – a grown up version of a party staple, and what better way to toast in the newly weds than with some gin and tonic!

Sweet vanilla cream and dulce de leche butterfly cakes

My own recipe for ridiculously delicious caramel and cream butterfly cakes. Forget cupcakes!

Scones with clotted cream and jam

You could make your own scones with this excellent recipe, but, equally, I’m sure no one will mind if you buy it in…

Lemongrass and raspberry trifle

Another Nigella recipe – and if you fancy a classic version, there are tonnes out there for sherry trifle!

Eton Mess

Legend has it this was invented at at Eton College – which is where Prince William was educated, of course, making this the perfect dish to serve on the big day. Just remember to mix it just before serving, because the meringues will melt otherwise! This is Delia’s recipe, but you can also add a splash of Pimm’s at the last minute to transform it into an ever more celebrationary dish!

Think Pink!

It’s October, which means it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That doesn’t just mean raising money for breast cancer – that also means learning about it and spreading the word to others. But fundraising is also a pretty important part. For two weeks we’ll be pink at Distracted Gourmet – but then we’re turning all spooky for Halloween near the end.

Think Pink cupcakes

One good way you can help Breast Cancer Awareness Month reach even more people is to ram it down their throats. Literally! The slogan for this campaign is Think Pink, and if there’s one thing that goes nicely with baked goods, it’s pink.

Hey cupcake!: Think Pink cupcakes

Take some pink cupcakes into work and share them with your colleagues. If you want to raise money, why not charge a small amount for each cake and give it directly to charity?

White cupcakes: Think Pink

These are love buns, which are made with a recipe by Nigella Lawson, originally intended to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But I think you can make them to celebrate your boobs. Or, if you don’t have any boobs, celebrate someone else’s!

These cupcakes are a basic white cake mix with a meringue-type topping that is kind of marshmallowy. Very unusual! I coloured the topping with Wilton’s pink colouring gel, so as not to lose the thick consistency.

Lonesome cupcake: Think Pink

I bought my pink sugary sprinkles and pastel pink and blue cupcake cases from Asda – so cheap compared to some of the prices I’ve seen. The cupcake flag is from Momiji.

If you want to join in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and turn your blog pink for October, go to Pink For October for information and resources. There’s also information on there for turning your Twitter background pink, as well as a Facebook group, and a place to register your site. You can also turn your Flickr pictures into Breast Cancer Awareness posters at Bighugelabs, where you can also find more resources for your blog, including ribbon logos.

For baking-related Breast Cancer Awareness stuff, you can visit The Cakes, Cookies & Crafts Shop (UK) and find Awareness Ribbon cookie cutters, cake cases, oven gloves and more.

Schmalzy Chicken

This week’s chicken was a relatively simple affair. I decided to invite dear old mum and dad over for lunch, so we could swing by St Francis, a local animal rescue centre, where they were putting on a fund raising event. We’d (well, they) just adopted a lovely new dog by the name of Ben, so we decided to take him back to see all his old chums. He had an absolute blast, being treated like a right celebrity.

Anyway, that’s beside the point – the point was, I decided to make the chicken recipe simple, because I was serving it as part of a traditional British Sunday lunch. Americans, this is what we also eat at Christmas – only a much more elaborate version. It’s also the nearest thing you get to a Thanksgiving style meal here – swap the turkey for the chicken, and you see what I mean.

So, the recipe was Nigella Lawson’s Schmalzy Chicken, which is from possibly my favourite book of hers, Feast. The recipe is simplicity itself, and I don’t think I’m going to get a cheaper chicken dish out of this entire year – mostly because I bought one of Tesco’s ‘3 for £10’ chickens. Well, two, in fact. And lamb steaks.

Week Three: Tesco Chicken

So, that’s the semi-abused chicken. And here’s the costing:

Tesco Chicken: £3.33 (to infinity)

Grand total: £3.33

Yep, that was all I bought. The recipe calls for salt and a chicken. I’m down with that.

The idea here is that you render down the chicken fat you find inside the carcass, and then rub it over the chicken and roast it, so that the chicken gets meltingly tender and soft, and all deliciously savoury. I had a cunning plan to use three times the amount of chicken fat you would normally get from a chicken, by saving the fat from the inside of next week’s chicken. But, I didn’t tell M and he threw it away. Foiled! The other third was generously donated by the fat I skimmed off the top of Jamie’s chicken broth.

Rendering the chicken fat

Rendering the chicken fat is just  a fancy way of saying you cook it until all you have left is a pool of ‘schmalz’ and a wizened little piece of chickeny stuff. You can eat this, or shove it up the chicken’s bum to flavour it. That’s what I did…

Week Three: Pre-Schmalzy Chicken

This is the chicken pre-schmalz, sitting in the roasting pan that M’s mum gave me. It makes the chicken really moist thanks to the lid, but it also had the side-effect of not letting the chicken brown so much all over.

Week Three: Schmalzy Chicken

At first glance, this doesn’t seem like so much of a triumph, but that’s because you can’t taste it. Moist and delicious! The taste wasn’t complex at all, but somehow more ‘chickeny’ than chicken normally is… Amazing! And, with a cheapy chook, too. I wouldn’t say this was a miracle, but it certainly was a revelation. Shame I couldn’t get the skin any crispier, though – should have left the lid off.

Week Three: Proper British Roast with Schmalzy Chicken

This was the meal we ate our chicken with – a good old roast. Peas, fancy carrots, roast potatoes, stuffing balls, pigs in blankets, and gravy. Delicious.

So, the scores.

My dear old mum gave it 9. She would – everything I do well reflects on her, of course. Any chicken cooked by a child of hers is sure to score no lower than a 9.

My dad gave it 8. Very tasty and moist, he reckoned.

M gave it 7. It’s a simple recipe, and a simple, clean taste, but there’s nothing spectacular about it.

I gave it 7.5. It’s easy to do, tastes good and is cheap – what more could you want? Shame I couldn’t brown it all over, cos with crispy skin this could have been really special.

There wasn’t much leftover chicken here, but what there was got made into the most unphotogenic curry you ever did see. Except you’ll never see it, hah.