Sorry my posts are a little sporadic at the moment. I am still pondering what to do with myself, you see. As well as this blog, which I love, I have decided to offer digital consultancy to food and drink businesses. Which, actually I have done on and off over the years anyway. Just that now I am deciding to officially do it. So that’s that. Also, the dark nights and my new softbox lighting – it’s not the panacea I thought it was. It just isn’t a match for natural light. Or maybe it’s how I’m using it? Anyway, last night I had another crack at it. And the above photo is just about passable, so here we are!
When we have a chicken on a Sunday, I never chuck (no pun intended!) the carcass. I strip the carcass – I mean, I really strip it and get everything off. Then I pressure cook it along with all other bones for 30 mins in enough water to cover it and nothing else. If you don’t have a pressure cooker then simply bring to boil then simmer for an hour or so. Add veggies if you like. So you have a nice stock, and some leftovers – even if it’s just a small amount, this is the perfect dish to make. Add quickly fried mushrooms at the end as I did, or sweetcorn, or peas. Whatever your kids like. Bea loves mushrooms; she’s practically romantic about them. Art, equally passionately, despises them. So, he picked his out and gave them to her and everyone was happy.
Risotto rice is a great cupboard standby – it’s cheap and a great way to use up leftovers. I don’t understand why people are frightened of making risottos, or at least think they are a lot of work. I simply pour a glass of wine and give it the odd, remiss stir whilst hanging out nearby. I don’t stand there slavishly stirring continuously. And it is always fine. In fact, if you want some alone time then it can be really nice. Stick CBBC or a movie on for the kids, a glass of wine and the radio for yourself, and have some pondering time… before you know it, dinner is served.
Serves: 4 (2 adults, 2 kids)
Takes: 25 minutes approx
- Chicken leftovers
- About 1 litre – approx – of chicken stock (you can always top up if needed), heated up
- About 250g risotto rice (make it 350G if your kids are older or you’re serving adults)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 glass of white wine
- Good grating of Parmesan (about 50g), plus more to serve
- Some parsley, finely chopped
- Few mushrooms, finely sliced (or handful of sweetcorn or peas)
- Salt and pepper
- Soften onions and garlic in oil for 5-10 minutes. Add rice and stir into oily mix.
- Tip in wine and let it sizzle off until it’s all gone.
- Have the stock on standby, ideally hot or at least warm.
- Add stock, a bit at a time, they say ladle by ladle but a bit more to speed things up and create less work won’t hurt!
- Stir pretty often, so it doesn’t stick and so the creaminess is released from the rice.
- When the rice is puffed up – try some and see if it’s cooked – and a little al dente, it’s ready. It should take about 15 minutes to get to this stage.
- At this point add the Parmesan. Stir well and add a lick more stock if you want it to be wetter.
- Add chopped parsley, season to taste.