Sundays for me are all about the three Rs; rest, relaxation and roast dinners. I don’t know of a better way of spending a Sunday than getting up late, puttering around the house or garden, and playing with my girls before preparing a traditional roast lunch for the family.
Often though, when I cook a roast dinner I find that there is always food leftover… Probably because I have inherited my Dad’s habit of cooking extra food just in case someone is extremely hungry or there is an unexpected visitor or ten for dinner (which has never occurred). Thankfully though, those crafty Italians have blessed the world with Risotto.
Risotto is one of those dishes that can easily incorporate any number of ingredients, including your leftover roast dinner and still taste delicious.
ROAST CHICKEN AND PEA RISOTTO
I find the key to making the perfect risotto is to make sure you have all the ingredients to hand, as you don’t want the risotto sticking to the pan while you search the fridge for a glass of vino, and plenty of stirring. Stirring releases the starch and gives the risotto it’s lovely creamy texture. Also, don’t wash the rice before cooking as you will wash away some of the starch, and it won’t turn out as creamy as it should.
● Preparation time: 10 minutes
● Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- glass of white wine (optional)
- 250g arborio rice
- 1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 150 g (or so) leftover chicken, chopped
- 2 large handfuls of peas, fresh or frozen
- a handful of leftover green vegetables from your roast dinner (broccoli, courgettes etc) or add extra peas
- 25g butter
- 50g Parmesan, grated
- Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and thyme for 5 minutes.
- Add the wine (if using) and bubble for 30 seconds.
- Add the rice and stir to coat all the grains and cook for 2 minutes
- Add the stock, a ladleful or two at a time. Stir between each addition until the stock is absorbed. This should take around 15 minutes.
- When the rice is almost cooked, add the chicken, peas and vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Season to taste, add the butter and Parmesan.
- Serve immediately.