This is my favourite thing to do with the leftovers from a roast chicken.  We always buy large free range chooks so we get at least 2 meals out of them – it’s great economy, two meals but not twice the cost of the meat.

If I have the time, I’ll use the chicken carcass to make the stock – but stock from the grocery store will do just as well.  If you’re really pushed, use cubes.

Chicken Risotto (serves 4 generously)

Ingredients You Need:

  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1/2 Glass Good White Wine
  • 400g Risotto Rice
  • 2 pints Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • Leftovers from a big roast chicken (couple of good handfuls of meat picked off the carcass) sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 Small Bag Frozen Peas (~250g)
  • Parmesan Block
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Gear You’ll Need:

  • 2 Large saucepans
  • Ladle
  • Large wooden spoon
  • Grater/shaver

How To Make It:

  1. Put all the stock into one of the pans, bring up to a simmer
  2. Finely chop the onion and sauté until softened in the olive oil in the other pan, you don’t want to colour it so keep the heat medium low
  3. Sling the rice in (into the pan with the onions) and give it a good stir, get every grain coated with the oil
  4. Get the heat up to medium and lob in the wine and stir, stir, stir until the wine has been absorbed
  5. Add the stock one ladle at a time, letting it absorb, until it’s all used – this will probably take around 15 minutes and you should end up with velvety looking rice not dissimilar to porridge
  6. Get the peas in and let them cook for 2-3 minutes
  7. Throw in the chicken and stir for a minute or two to bring it up to temperature
  8. Season with the parmesan, salt and pepper to taste
  9. Serve with additional parmesan shaved/grated over the top

WorkTop Tips:

  • If you want to step it up a notch, swap the wine for 1/4 glass of Vermouth
  • If you’re not a fan of peas, substitute! Anything green that will hold it’s form will work – asparagus, french beans, spinach (drop this in just before you serve) – fill your boots!
  • The secret to great risotto is twofold: patience and violence.  Be patient with the stock, one ladle at a time and let it absorb.  Be violent with your stirring, stir like a demon, knock the starches out of the rice to get the rich gooey thing going on
  • If you really want to pep it up, thinly (and I mean thinly!) slice a fennel bulb into the pan with the onions

Wine Pairing:

If you’re on a budget or just want a mid-week quaff, a well chilled Pinot Grigio will not go wrong.  If you’re entertaining or trying to impress with this rustic classic then look for a Gavi – I like Ascheri if you can hunt some down.

Enjoy!

SM