Chicken Risotto For Leftovers
This is a fabulous recipe to use up leftover cooked chicken or turkey, but can also be cooked with fresh chicken or turkey too. I don’t buy a whole chicken very often so when I do, I like to get a free range chicken which is, of course, more expensive than supermarket chicken, but in my opinion, worth every penny
A free range chicken will have had a better life, being able to run around and eat more natural food. It is also less likely to contain antibiotics and hormones, not to mention extra water. I prefer to buy a local chicken so I am supporting the local economy and reducing carbon footprint. Although this is more expensive than meat from the supermarket, it is excellent quality and worth remembering that it can contain up to 25% less fat and probably less water too. The chicken I bought cost just under £10 and has served four people for two meals so it is reasonably economical.
Risotto is easy to prepare and a delicious way to use up leftover meat such as chicken or turkey, after a roast dinner
Cooking a roast is an easy meal and so delicious. I served it with roast potatoes and red cabbage with apples. This does, make a very delicious and special meal and is quite straight forward to prepare. After a roast chicken or turkey meal it is likely there ill be leftovers, especially if you are careful to strip the carcass of all meat. You will then need some ideas or further meals
Risotto Is An Adaptable Recipe
Particularly at Christmas time, a large roast dinner that produces left over meat is often used up in sandwiches, curry and salads over the next few days and can get a little tedious – so some fresh ideas to move away from this tradition is usually, very welcome.
This is a delicious and easy recipe. It requires at 250g-350g of cooked chicken, but if you have less than that you can chop it into smaller pieces and increase the vegetable content. You can even add some leftover vegetables to the risotto too. You will still get the flavour of the chicken and just get it to go a bit further. Alternatively you can add some ham, bacon or mushrooms to the mix.
If you don’t have any cooked chicken but are are using fresh chicken pieces, simply cut the meat into small bite-sized chunks and fry it in a little oil for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside and then follow the recipe as below.
There are many variations on risotto recipes such as Broad Bean and Pea Risotto and Squash Risotto which are simple and nutritious. The recommended rice to us is arborio rice which is a short grain rice, but you can use basmati or long grain rice too. It is named after the town Arborio in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. It is creamy and yet has a good ‘bite’ when cooked.
You can use some white wine in the stock, if liked, especially if you have some small amounts to be used up. This really is an effective ‘leftovers’ meal.
- 2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 300g / 10oz arborio rice
- 300g / 10oz cooked chicken
- 100g /3oz frozen peas
- 750ml stock
- 75g / 2.5oz Parmesan cheese – or similar – grated
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan
- Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften
- Add the pepper and garlic and cook for a further 4 minutes, stirring frequently
- Add the rice and cook for a minute stirring frequently
- Add about one quarter of the stock
- Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer gently until most of the stock is absorbed
- Add the chicken
- Add about one third of the remaining stock, stir, bring to boil and simmer gently
- Once most of the liquid is absorbed, add around half of the remaining stock
- Add the peas and stir
- Bring back to simmering
- Taste the rice – when done it will be soft with a little bite
- If further cooking required, add most of the remaining stock
- Continue until fully cooked and most ofthe stock is absorbed (do add more stock if required)
- Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese
- Season with salt and pepper