With five kids, I’m always looking for ways to make the most of meal times and so I expect that this will be the first of many posts on the subject of leftovers.

Being head chef in our house means I usually get the proportions and amounts just about spot on but from time to time, particularly when we have a late omission or two from the guest list, leftovers are inevitable. Such was the situation on the eve of the Queen’s Birthday.

So if you are wondering what to do with half a roast chicken, a couple of roast parsnips and a good handful of roast potatoes, read on.

After a mooch about in the fridge, I pulled out garlic, onions, a fresh red chilli and a pot of sour cream, chicken stock (I used Chicken Oxo), cayenne pepper, sweet paprika and fresh ground black pepper.

Dice and fry off one large brown onion in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

As the onions start to go translucent and soften, add about a heaped teaspoon of chopped/minced garlic. I’ve been using the minced garlic in a jar from Coles and while it is very handy, it doesn’t seem as strong as fresh. If you are using fresh, I’d suggest you use 2 or 3 medium to large cloves.

Next, take the red chilli and split down the middle lengthways. I used a teaspoon and scraped out the seeds but if you like the heat, leave them in. Chop finely and add to the onions and garlic.

Sprinkle about half a teaspoon of cayenne and about the same of paprika over the onions.

Pick remaining meat from the chicken carcass and add to the pan.

Chop up and add the potatoes and parsnips.

Once the ingredients are combined, add a little boiled water. I started with a cup and added an additional splash or two throughout the rest of the cooking but it’s all about your own personal preference. In this instance, if you like it thin add more, thick less. Bear in mind that you will be adding sour cream next.

Add three large tablespoons of sour cream and gently combine. As an afterthought, I blended in a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste.

As everything comes up to heat, both in terms of temperature and taste,  you can add more cayenne if you wish.

You could probably serve this with green beans or mangetout (snow peas) and some crusty bread.