Friday, August 12, 2011

Recipe: Garlicky Chicken and Spinach Risotto

This is a delicious, sophisticaed risotto dish, that works perfectly as a light lunch or as a sophisticated dinner party dish. I went over to nick's and cooked him a nice meal while he was working upstairs, aren't i lovely girlfriend?? Yes darling you can go and have a drink with your friends at the pub, and i'll call you when dinner's on'table! I feel like a northern housewife without the ring! Hahaha! When cooking risotto, you want the end result to not be too dry (you should never be able to put risotto into a ring and present it- i hate it when restaurants do that- risottos should always have a bit of sauce!) and you want the rice to still retain a little bit of bite to it- we dont want savoury rice puddings now do we? Risottos are easy, but they do involve a little bit of judgement from the cook.

Garlicky Chicken and Spinach risotto (serves 3)

4 tbsp olive oil
9 chicken mini fillets, seasoned with salt and pepper
Knob of butter
1 white onion, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
½ tsp dried oregano
180g risotto rice
700ml vegetable stock
Zest of 1 lemon and ½ the juice
100g diced true spinach
5g finely grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a deep frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of the oil and fry the chicken mini fillets for a couple of minutes on each side, until both sides are golden and they are fully cooked all the way through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover tightly with tin foil to keep warm
2. Lower the heat of the frying pan to low, and sauté the onion and garlic in the other 2tbsp of oil and the knob of butter until very soft, for about 15 minutes.
3. Add the oregano and rice, and stir around to coat. Begin to gradually add the stock- this process will take about 15 minutes.
4. 10 minutes into this process add the lemon zest, lemon juice, spinach and parmesan. Continue to stir and add the stock.
5. After fifteen minutes the rice should have absorbed all the liquid, the spinach will have been cooked, and the rice will be cooked to perfection (the rice needs to be soft, but it still needs to be “al dente” or “have a little bit of a bite to it”). Season to taste, and serve with the reserved chicken fillets on top.

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