Go-to, super-quick recipe for leftover chicken with chickpeas, black olives, and feta

“I never dream in French, but certain French words seem better or more fun than English words – like ‘pois chiches’ for chick peas!”

Lydia Davis

This is my go-to recipe for what to do with cooked leftover chicken. I’ve experimented with it over the years – almonds, turmeric and cinnamon all go well.

I also often used preserved lemon, but the chief taster says this method of producing a sort of caramelised lemon and incorporating that instead results in a ‘brighter, fresher’ effect.

You can also experiment with adding pistachios, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, and coriander…instead of the black olives and feta… makes it rather middle-eastern.

Go-to, super-quick recipe for leftover chicken with chickpeas and black olives

Serves 2


  • 1 onion
  • 100g/4 oz (or what you have) cooked chicken
  • Olive oil for frying
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed with 1 tsp smoked salt
  • 1 400g/14 oz tin of chickpeas
  • 12 pitted black olives
  • 200g/8 oz feta (if you don’t have any you can use yoghurt)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • A few leaves of lettuce (not a disaster if these are not to hand)
  • Whatever herbs you have to hand – tarragon ideally
  • 80ml/⅓ cup dry or pink vermouth


  1. Take the lettuce out of the fridge.
  2. Peel and chop the onion and begin to fry gently.
  3. Cut the lemon into four, put in a corner of the frying pan peel side down, and drizzle over the honey, try not to disturb it too much – don’t stir it in with everything else.
  4. When it looks as if the onion is nearly done, add the garlic.
  5. Season. TASTE!!!
  6. Drain the chickpeas, add to the onion, stir to mix. Add the vermouth
  7. Just before you are due to serve, reduce the heat, crumble the feta into quite large chunks, stir it through and then take the whole off the heat.
  8. Tear in the lettuce leaves.
  9. Serve.
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