We love risotto, it goes down a treat with all the kids and I love it because it’s a cheap meal, where I can use up left-over meat from the weekend’s roast! With a few added extras, roast chicken has a whole new lease of life and it’s so easy to prepare. It really doesn’t matter how much meat you have, the crispy bacon on top disguises a lack of chicken in the risotto if you are stretching out the last portion! In our house we have various intolerances including gluten and dairy, so I have included alternatives in the recipe to accommodate these allergies. This recipe serves a family of five (2 adults, 3 children).
- Large glug of olive oil (approx 4 tbsp)
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 2 medium garlic cloves,
- 3 rashers of back bacon (or 6 of streaky), chopped into small pieces
- Left-over roast chicken (or poach a chicken breast), chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 mug of frozen peas
- Large handful fresh spinach leaves or 6 cubes of frozen spinach
- 1 mug risotto rice (I use arborio)
- Good glug of white wine (optional)
- 1 1/2 pints of stock – boiling water with 1 veg and 1 chicken stock cube (Knorr stock cubes are gluten free)
- Large knob of butter/ butter alternative if you are dairy free (we like the Pure range)
- Grated cheese to top- cheddar or parmesan, lactose free if you are dairy free
- Start the bacon frying on a fairly low heat, keep an eye on it but basically let fry out any excess water and crisp up
- In large saucepan warm the olive oil and fry the onions gently, until translucent
- Add the garlic and keep stirring so it doesn’t burn
- Add the mixed herbs and the risotto rice and stir continually for 2 minutes so that the rice is completely coated in the oil
- Add the wine (if using) or a ladle of stock and stir
- Add the carrot and stir through
- Continue to add the stock ladle by ladle waiting for it to be absorbed each time (keep the stock in a small sauce pan on a low heat)
- You do not need to stir continuously, but you do need to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan
- After 20 minutes, add the frozen peas and spinach (if using frozen)
- After a further 5 minutes the stock should have all been absorbed and the rice cooked through
- Have a kettle boiled just in case you need more liquid, it doesn’t need to be stock, just hot!
- Add the fresh spinach stir and cover for 2 minutes
- Add the chicken and stir through
- Add the butter and stir through until melted. At this point you could add finely grated parmesan but some of my lot don’t like it/ are dairy intolerant, so I leave it on the table to add as desired.
- Serve with the crispy bacon on top.
Previous recipes: Spaghetti & Mozzarella Meatballs, Gluten & Dairy Free Mini Fish Pies, Toad in the Hole with a Twist, Pop Chicken Nuggets, Chicken ‘Kinda’ Kiev Crunchy Salmon Fishcakes, The Best Bolognese, Quick Spinach and Watercress Soup, Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake, Easy Bacon and Monkfish Risotto, Hake in a Cheesy Sauce, Roasted Vegetable Pasta Sauce, Chinese Salmon, Chorizo and veg pasta & Homemade fish (or chicken) fingers.
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