I was given a recipe book Little Italy one birthday, it's been an amazing addition to my recipe book collection. For those that know our little family we just love recipe books and cooking. I really wanted to cook Italian more authentically, Risotto was always one of those dishes that scared me I didn't want it to be tasteless, the grains to hard or to runny. So last week l read up on how to make Risotto and then came up with my own version of a perfect tasty and kid friendly risotto using what l had in the fridge + pantry. This Leek, Asparagus and Chicken risotto l made and loved. It's a winter warmer, easy to make and great for our little people. Miss Two had two big bowls full and for a little munchkin that was a miracle. So while Miss Two is being spoilt by her Nana for the day and I'm home alone with a pair of tradies fixing my heater I thought l would share this little gem with you.
2 Chicken fillets
1 litre of Chicken stock
1 glass of White wine
1 cup of water
2 cups of Aborio rice
2 bunches of Asparagus
A good quality Parmesan
40 g of butter
Olive Oil for cooking
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch of Herb Salt (optional)
Use a large, deep frying pan with a thick base and a lid, a wooden spoon, another saucepan for the stock, a ladle to pour it in and a cheese grater.
How to make
Dice the chicken into cubes and add to a medium saucepan with chicken stock and put it on a medium heat. The chicken cooks gently in the stock for 15 mins, gets the full flavour hit of the stock. After 15 mins, remove chicken pieces from the stock and place in a bowl for later.
In a wide, deep frying pan, heat the olive oil with 20 g of butter and saute the leeks and asparagus, all finely chopped. Over a gentle heat for 5 mins. Add the Aborio rice and stir it over a high heat for 2 mins.
Moisten with the white wine and allow to evaporate, then pour in the first ladleful of very hot chicken stock. Stir well. Add the chicken and seasoning to pan. Continue to cook for another 15 mins over a medium heat, pouring more hot stock ladleful by ladleful as soon as the previous ladleful is almost absorbed. Stir frequently or is will stick. Check the rice and see if it's soft enough for your liking. If you need to loosen more then add some water to the pan and stir again. Cooking time may vary depending on your stove and pan.
Adjust the seasoning. Off the heat, add the rest of the butter and the grated Parmesan. Cover and allow to rest for 2 mins. Serve while there is still a little liquid. Grate Parmesan over the top of your serve. Enjoy!
Variations to the recipe
OK there is a way to do express risotto if you are in a hurry. Saute the rice in the oil or butter with the leeks and asparagus, pour all the stock at once and allow the rice to cook for 15 mins on a very low heat, covered and without mixing. The result is not bad, but nevertheless not the same as the real thing.
With risotto you vary the recipe according to the season. You can put anything in risotto so be creative. According to Laura Zavan author of Little Italy their are ingredients for a successful risotto. Italian rice is a short-grain rice they are high in starch, absorb liquid well and stay firm to the bite. Allow about 70g per person and more if you plan on leftovers the next day for lunch.
Meat or vegetable stock. Preferably homemade. Otherwise, buy some organic stock without added flavour enhances, in cube or powder form. Allow 3 times the quantity of stock for one volume of rice. Wine is optional.
Finely chopped shallots, onions or leeks, butter and Parmesan cheese. Allow 10 g of each ingredient per person. One or several ingredients to flavour the risotto: vegetables, cheese, meat or fish, the choice is very wide.
I'm going to try a pumpkin risotto this week.
If you have a favourite recipe or any risotto tips + cooking
stories to share we would love to hear from you.
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