Once my boyfriend fell very ill and had to go to the hospital. As he wasn’t referred by a doctor, he had to wait hours and hours over night. He wasn’t in a great state when I picked him up after work and took him home.
He hadn’t eaten anything properly for almost 24 hours, so I rustled up something wholesome, comforting and clean.
I made him a chicken risotto which revived him and made him feel miles better.
Sometimes all we want is comfort food but when we don’t feel so well, suffer from a cold, or being cold all day as it had been raining all day (sounds familiar?) junk food doesn’t seem comforting enough, some plain, easy food is best.
This risotto follows all the usual risotto rules and can be made as fancy or as simple as you like. There’s only 2 rules, stir, stir, stir and use a large flat bottomed pan.
- 2 cups of risotto rice (I measure by heaping rice in my cupped hand)
- 2 shallots or 1 ordinary onion, chopped finely
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- Knob of butter (optional, you can just use olive oil but butter is far better)
- 150g shredded cooked chicken
- 2 liters of chicken stock
- 1 large glass of white wine (optional)
- Some fresh herbs like parsley or few sprigs of thyme (optional)
First shred the chicken if you have cooked meat leftover, if not, I sometimes just buy the cooked drumsticks from the supermarket and rip the meat off. Best is of course the leftover chicken from your roast dinner and the stock you made from the carcass but we don’t always have the time.
Prepare stock, I usually use those stock jellies as they taste more like home made stock.
Put it in a jug next to the pan with a ladle.
Add butter to the pan and a drizzle of olive oil to make sure the butter doesn’t burn.
Add onion and garlic and gently fry on low heat until almost translucent (about 8 mins).
Add the rice stir it around so the grains get covered in the butter and onion juice. Then add the wine and listen to it sizzle. Stir the rice until almost all liquid has been soaked up. Then add the first ladle of stock and repeat this step. This needs patience, don’t be tempted to crank up the heat and cook the rice quickly as it will not nearly be as creamy.
Once you have used half the stock, add the chicken. Continue to ladle stock in and stirring the rice.
When you get to the end of the stock and you see how your rice has bulked up, try it and see how done the rice is. The perfect risotto should have some bite to it but it depends how you like it, after all, it’s your comfort food!
To finish off the risotto, add grated parmesan and season the risotto to your taste.
Serve with some herbs on top and more cheese!