I couldn't think what to cook for the girls coming round last night, then writing up my recipe for Soup Aux Moules somewhat randomly inspired me to make risotto! It was perfect - I could adjust the quantity as required, and I could use the creamy, cheesy ingredients which are usually out of bounds!
I pondered what to make - A doesn't eat anything orange (!) so butternut squash risotto was out of the question and V doesn't do seafood. Two of my standbys were struck down! I thought about something with chorizo, but couldn't make it click into a whole meal. So in the end I decided to make something completely different...
- 1 rotisserie chicken, meat taken off the bone and chopped into bitesize pieces
- 2 large onions
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tspn sugar
- 100 ml balsamic vinegar
- olive oil to fry
- 500g risotto rice - I usually use Carnaroli, but the store was out do I used Arborio instead - with good results!
- 1 litre stock - I used some of the stock I made from the roast turkey we had for Christmas - its flavour was perfect for this!
- 200 mls white wine
- 100g finely grated parmigiana - plus extra for shavings
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- salt and pepper
Right - hope you're still with me!
You can make the caramelised onions in advance - just keep them in the fridge for up to a week until you need them. They are also fabulous with cheese, or spread on garlicy crusty bread... so beware them may not last long enough to make it into the risotto!
In a saucepan, heat the stock thoroughly and keep it at a simmer - when you ladle it into the risotto it should not be cold.
You should have 1/2 onion left from the caramelising process. Finely chop this.
Heat a glug of olive oil over a medium heat, then sauté the onions for 3/4 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and fry for another minute.
Add the risotto rice, and continue to fry, ensuring you keep the rice moving at all times. After a few minutes it will start to go translucent round the edges, and also makes a slight cracking sound. (Which sounds a bit weird, but you can hear the tone of the frying change!)
Add the white wine to the pan, and keep stirring until all the alcohol has evaporated off/been absorbed.
Add a ladle of the stock and stir until it is absorbed. Repeat. After 15 minutes, test the rice for doneness - it should still have a bit of bite, but have lost its chalkiness. Add the tarragon now. If the rice still isn't cooked, when the stock runs out, use boiling water to finish it off.
Once the rice is done, turn off the heat, mix in the chicken, grated parmesan, and caramelised onions. Put a lid on it and leave it to sit for at least 5 minutes. This is similar to resting meat - and gives the rice a chance to relax and absorb excess liquid.
Serve in big bowls with parmesan shavings on the top!