Last week we went on a little trip to Budapest. It didn’t feel little, as we were both feeling a bit holiday-starved (2012 trip to Poland was not exactly leisurely and my previous holidays have been spent at Center Parcs chasing my tiny godsons down waterslides they were too short to officially be allowed on). It was our first trip abroad together, and it was bloody lovely.

Gelato Rosa, Budapest

Gelato Rosa, Budapest

Budapest gave us the perfect mix of everything we both love – architecture, various levels of Soviet and medieval history, and awesome food. I would gladly recommend it in a heartbeat. We had rose-shaped ice creams, huge portions of the most life-changingly delicious meats and a cauldron of goulash that has genuinely changed everything I thought I knew about making and eating soup.

Goulash at Carne Di Hall

Goulash at Carne Di Hall

But then we came home on a flight full of recirculated coughs and splutters. Feeling generally run-down, full of the richest food and the poorest wallets, we stocked up on every type of green veg available and most importantly, roasted a chicken.

Post-roast, I love using up leftovers, but I like trying to make something different each time. On a mission to keep us full of green goodness, empty of snot and not keep leftovers sticking around for too long, I chopped up pretty much everything we had left and sprinkled it with breadcrumbs, paprika and Parmesan.

Crunch-topped chicken casserole

Crunch-topped chicken casserole

It was GOOD. It was the perfect end of holiday pick-me-up/return-to-work antidote. It has left me feeling brighter, well-fed and now I’m full of inspiration (and desire to blog more). You can make it too, if you like:

Crunchy Spring Green Post-Roast Casserole

(serves 4, great with some garlic bread or crunchy salad on the side)

Crispy baked leftover goodness and "thank you for looking after my snotty face" flowers from my beloved. Aww.

Crispy baked leftover goodness and “thank you for looking after my snotty face” flowers from my beloved. Aww.

Shredded leftover roast chicken (I used apprx 1 breast, 2 legs and all the scrappy inbetweeny bits)

2 leeks, chopped

1 large courgette, chopped

About 2 handfuls of spinach

About a ladle-full of peas

2 crushed garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon dried chillies (optional)

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon

Salt, pepper

Olive oil



You’ll also need – a hot oven (180degs), a shallow oven-proof dish, a thick-based saucepan and a spare small bowl for mixing the crunchy topping.

1 – Heat about 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a heavy pan and add the garlic.

2 – After about 30 seconds, when the garlic becomes fragrant, add the leeks, courgette, thyme and chillies (if using). Turn down the heat so the vegetables don’t fry or go brown.

3 – Once the leeks begin to soften, add the spinach, peas and your leftover chicken. Add the lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Stir to mix everything together well. You could sift in a little flour at this stage to bind everything in to ‘pie gloop’ but it’s not actually a pie so not essential.

4-  As the mixture in the pan cooks and combines, in a separate bowl mix breadcrumbs (enough to cover your shallow oven-proof dish), a tablespoon of Parmesan and the paprika. Mix with a little oil (1-2tspn) and set aside.

5 – Pour your greeny vegtastic chickeny mixture in to your oven-proof dish. Push everything around so that it covers the whole dish and get right up in to the edges.

6 – Spoon the crumbly breadcrumb mixture of the top until everything is covered. You might need to shake some extra breadcrumbs or cheese at this stage.

7 – Cook in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until the topping has turned golden.

8 – Serve with a nice crunchy salad and/or some garlic bread! Which handily takes just as long to cook…

Crunchy cheesy crumbs make everything better

Crunchy cheesy crumbs make everything better

Look at all that lucious life-restoring green goodness

Look at all that lucious life-restoring green goodness