Leftover chicken and mushroom risotto

Leftover chicken and mushroom risotto

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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  1. Soften onions and garlic in oil for 5-10 minutes. Add rice and stir into oily mix.
  2. Tip in wine and let it sizzle off until it’s all gone.
  3. Have the stock on standby, ideally hot or at least warm.
  4. 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!
  5. Stir pretty often, so it doesn’t stick and so the creaminess is released from the rice.
  6. 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.
  7. At this point add the Parmesan. Stir well and add a lick more stock if you want it to be wetter.
  8. Add chopped parsley, season to taste.
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