If you hate wasting food and struggle to think of easy new recipes, my Monday Night Risotto might be just the thing. It’s really easy, really tasty, takes about 25 minutes to make and uses up all the cold chicken left over from your Sunday Roast. I usually serve 3, but you can serve as many as you want. Just add more or less rice and stock.
Here’s what you need
One Medium Sized Onion
A knob of butter and a dash of Olive oil
½ a cup of risotto rice per person
About ½ a pint of hot chicken or vegetable stock per person
A small glass of dry white wine
Whatever left-over cooked chicken you have
A good spoonful of Green Pesto
A good grating of Parmesan cheese
Some frozen peas (if you like)
This is ‘playing it by ear’ kind of cooking. The quantities really don’t need to be exact, and you can leave some out or add something else in, if you prefer. As long as you have the onion, rice and stock it’ll work.
This is how you do it
Take all the cold meat you stripped off yesterday’s chicken and cut it into small pieces. Finely chop your onion, and put the kettle on to boil. Then gently heat a knob of butter and a splash of olive oil in a large, non stick frying pan and add the onion. Just soften it for about 5 minutes. Be careful the butter doesn’t burn.
While that’s happening, make up your stock with your boiling water and stock cubes. I use a mixture of vegetable stock cubes and chicken stock cubes, but either will do. Add the rice to the onion in the frying pan (make sure it’s risotto rice) and stir for a minute or two, until it’s well coated with the oil and butter.
Turn up the heat a little, and pour in your glass of white wine (a splash of wine vinegar works just as well). Once it’s evaporated stir in about a ladle full of hot stock. The chicken has to be really well heated through by the end of the cooking time, so add it now as well.
Keep adding the stock a little at a time. The rice will soak it up while it cooks, but the trick is to keep stirring and let the rice soak up the stock before you add any more. Don’t feel you have to use exactly all the stock. The main thing is to avoid the risotto being too wet. I find a pint and a half is more than enough for three, but if you run out you can always just add a little hot water or more wine.
The rice will be cooked in about 18-20 minutes. Don’t overcook it. It should be soft and creamy but still just a tiny bit firm in the centre, and the grains should be separate not stuck together. Taste a bit to check that it’s firm but not too hard, and if it’s ok turn off the heat and stir in a generous teaspoon or two of green pesto. Grate some Parmesan on top for flavour, and stir that in. Cover for two minutes and serve.
If you fancy some frozen peas, you can just throw them in about 10 minutes before the end. I like to add them but my son hates them, so I usually cook some separately and just stir them into mine.