Thursday, 29 May 2014

Chicken risotto


1 pint chicken stock, a good handful of roast chicken, 1 stalk celery, 1 carrot, 1 small white onion, 1 tbsp butter, 1 glass white wine.
Serves: 3 Preparation: 25 minutes

Because I'm a vegetarian, when I roast a chicken for my husband and son, there is inevitably a decent amount of meat remaining. As I always boil up the carcass for stock, chicken soup is often the next dish on the list - but why not utilise that lovely fresh stock and leftover meat for a chicken risotto?
All risottos (no matter what the ingredients) can be made in 3 simple stages. The first is called tostatura - coating the rice in fat, the second involves cooking off some alcohol and the third involves releasing the starch from the rice one ladle of stock at a time.

1) Finely dice, or blitz in a food processor the carrot, onion and celery in preparation for your soffrito/mirepoix or "aromatics" as we so unromantically refer to this magical mixture in England. Transfer to a pan along with a generous knob of butter and sizzle sizzle sizzle away until the onion, celery and carrot are completely soft. This takes around 10 minutes by which time the carrot will have bleached down to a rather pleasing golden orange.

Add the risotto rice and stir until the rice becomes transparent, revealing a white dot in the centre. Add a good glug of white wine and continue stirring until it has cooked off, then add the first ladleful of stock.

Continue adding the stock to the risotto, one ladle at a time, adding the chicken with the second to last ladle of stock. Serve hot, finishing with an indulgent dash of cream if you wish. Remember, risotto should be soupy, not solid!

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