Those who know me well will agree that I have a limited tolerance for ‘fiddly’ stuff. I found this recipe by Lilly Higgins in the Irish Times one weekend. Until the advent of this recipe, the making of Risotto had traditionally fallen under Mr Saturday Night’s remit. It’s a real favourite of his, so when I saw the magic words ‘Baked Risotto’ it would have been rude not to give it a go. I did so with some trepidation, as I’ve been bitten a couple of times with recipes from newspapers – more often than I like.. However, I’m happy to report that this recipe did what it said it would do, and Mr SN was delighted with his Saturday evening dinner..
This recipe would feed 6 for a starter, and 4 hungry people for a main course. Last night we had it accompanied by some garlic flatbread and a soft-leaved green salad. I’ll definitely be making this again!
- A shallow frying pan
- A large oven-proof casserole with lid
- Cheese grater.
- a saucepan to poach the chicken if necessary
- 1 tablespoonful of Butter, and one of Olive oil
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 250g Arborio Rice
- 3/4 – 1 litre of good quality Chicken stock – Hot.
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 4 generous tablespoonfuls of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cooked, shredded chicken breast.
- Salt and freshly ground Black pepper
- fresh herbs
- Heat the oven to 180 Fan
- If you’re cooking the chicken from fresh, as I always am, put the hot chicken stock into a saucepan, and simmer a butterflied chicken breast for about 10 minutes. Butterflying it speeds up the cooking. Then shred it as required. Keep the stock for the Risotto.
- Heat the oil and butter over a medium heat.
- Add the onions and stir around for a few minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the crushed garlic and stir. Don’t let the onions or garlic brown.
- Add the rice and move it around until each grain is coated in the buttery oil. Let it cook for about a minute.
- Add 3/4 of the stock, and the tin of tomatoes, and stir in.
- Rinse out the tomato tin with the remaining stock, then add it all to the pan.
- Fold in the shredded chicken now.
- Gently – it’s hot! – pour everything into your casserole, put the lid on, and put it in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Grate the Parmesan.
- After 20 minutes, take the casserole out of the oven, and give it a really good stir.
- Put it back in for another 10 minutes, lid on. After this, the rice should be tender to bite, and most – but not all – of the stock absorbed
- Fold in most of the Parmesan – the Risotto will thicken up beautifully.
- Serve presto pronto, with extra Parmesan on the side, some chopped fresh herbs if you have them (I didn’t), and perhaps a drizzle of your best Olive oil if you fancy it.
- I often find that I don’t use the full 1 litre of stock – I start off adding about 3/4 of it, and see how it goes. You don’t want it swimming in stock, but you don’t want it dry either..
- I actually had some homemade Chicken stock today, and I do think it made a difference – Sadly however, this is not a regular occurrence in my house, as I’m not as good about these things as I should be..
- I think that if this recipe would still be fine if you just fancied it without the Chicken, by the way..