Thursday night came around and there were only a few days left before I went on holiday. Packing was almost done, Christmas gift shopping was completed, but my fridge was full of odd ingredients after trying to use up most items before I went away. What do you make for dinner using a handful of odd ingredients? To be specific, these ingredients included half a leftover BBQ chicken, part of a block of parmesan cheese, some veggies and an open bottle of white wine. My go-to in these situations is risotto. Add some frozen peas from the freezer and Arborio rice and you have yourself a dinner! There are so many variations you can make with risotto, and this easy base recipe is excellent – just add your own ingredients. These risottos are always a winner in my household, have a read of the “Hints & Tips” section below the recipe for some other combinations. Happy Baking! L x
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups chicken stock (I make mine from a stock cube)
2 teaspoons minced garlic paste (or clove fresh garlic)
1 brown onion, diced
Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper to taste
Extras (For the recipe pictured. Keep reading below for suggestions.)
½ BBQ chicken, sliced (in most risottos, I would prefer to use fresh chicken breast, sliced and fried)
Small bunch asparagus, sliced
6 mushrooms, sliced
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup white wine (optional)
- Heat pan and add olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until browned and cooked through.
- Add vegetables and fry for two minutes.
- Add Arborio rice and fry for three minutes, or until rice is opaque.
- Add white wine, thyme sprigs, and part of the stock (1/3 cup). Bring to the boil.
- When liquid is mostly absorbed, add more of the stock (another 1/3 cup). Continue to add stock in this way until rice is cooked through. Stir intermittently throughout this step to ensure rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Stir through BBQ chicken, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese on the top, and garlic bread (see recipe in “Hints & Tips” section).
Hints & Tips
- When it comes to adding the Arborio rice, fry with the other ingredients until opaque before adding the stock.
- Add herbs with the stock to create flavour. My favourites are thyme or oregano.
- Tasty combinations
- Tuna, peas, mushroom, parmesan cheese
- Pumpkin, spinach leaves, pine nuts, spring onions
- Chicken, leek, asparagus, peas, parmesan & thyme
- Lamb, mushroom, oregano, peas
- Mediterranean: tomatoes, feta, olives and your choice of meat.
- I also had ½ loaf sourdough-like bread left over so decided to make a garlic bread for the side. Slice the bread. Combine 75g melted butter, 3 teaspoons minced garlic paste (or fresh garlic clove), and some parsley. Brush the butter mixture onto the bread. Bake in a preheated oven at 180oC for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden brown.