Saturday, 14 May 2011

Chicken and mushroom risotto - one chicken many ways

As part of last week's leftovers marathon, I made (as I often do when faced with a roast chicken) stock and then risotto. Sometimes I make extra stock so that I can have soup for the freezer as well. I didn't manage that this week, mainly owing to falling asleep and letting the stock reduce down for an hour too long. What can I say? It happens to the best of us?

A friend of mine gave me her basic risotto recipe, and I've been using and adapting it for a couple of years now. I'm embarrased to say that this is the first time I've managed to take a semi passable photo of a plate of it, normally it looks like grey ricey gunge which isn't appetising if you can't smell it.

I suppose like all rice based recipes, it's important to be aware that rice absorbs according to it's own mood, but basically you want double volume liquid to rice. I know you're supposed to keep stirring and stirring risotto and truth be told I enjoy that, I find it relaxing and some time in that I can zone out and just focus on the actual doing as opposed to thinking as I do in the rest of my waking and working hours. However, where this risotto is concerned, if you make it in a non stick pan, the odd five minute potter into the garden, or to make a cup of tea, isn't crisis inducing. Similarly neither is the wine situation, I've done this with good white wine, cheap white wine, no white wine and with sherry (surprisingly tasty) none of these have ever been to the detriment of the final dish. Similarly I add mushrooms and thyme because I like that combination, adapt this to your liking or that of your family.

Firstly you need to make your stock - strip your chicken carcass of any usable meat (I do this after 2 servings of roast dinner, 2 servings of leftover roast chicken and veg and 3 rounds of chicken sandwiches) and pop that meat in a tupperware container in the fridge. I'm quite nifty with my fingers and try and get all edible meat off the bones. The rest of the carcass goes into a stock pot with 4 litres of water, a carrot an onion, a handful of peppercorns, a stick of celery and some salt. This then is brought to the boil, simmered for 2 hours and strained. Pop into another tupperware in the fridge, and then you can do your risotto the next day.


1 onion, choped finely
250g mushrooms chopped finely
Leftover chicken chopped up
1 large glass white wine
1 cup of risotto rice - I use arborio
Thyme (fresh or dried)
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan cheese

Warm approsimately 1 litre of chicken stock through in a pan and bring to the boil
Melt a knob of butter and some olive oil in a big non stick pan, add your onion and fry gently
Add the mushrooms and some thyme and cook down until they've stopped releasing water
Add a cup of rice and stir so it absorbs the liquid in the pan (only for a minute or 2)
Add in your white wine and stir as it bubbles away
Ladle by ladle stir in your hot stock, stirring all the while (or not, depending on your mood)
Season - be cautious with your salt as the parmesan is salty itself
When all is absorbed, and the rice is softand the risotto thick and unctuous, add another generous knob of butter, and some grated parmesan
Serves 4 generously with a salad
This freezes beautifully - I reheat over the hob and add some extra parmesan and butter just before serving.

Next time Owl biscuits for the Brownies, and salmon and greens.

And I know there's no Musical theatre reference here at all, you try and find an MT song with chicken in the lyrics!

1 comment:

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...

My top stock tip is to make it in the slow cooker, you can safely leave it on overnight and it will not boil dry.

I deal with the chicken straight after the meal, as I find it far easier to pull all the meat off when the carcass is still warm. And then I get round to it rather than leaving it.

I have been known to take a plastic bag containin the carcass home from a friend's lunch party!


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