18 December 2015
Just for a change of pace, I thought I’d end this season on a savoury note. But don’t despair, I’ll be putting up a sweet bonus recipe very soon!
This is not a proper risotto like the one from a few weeks ago, this is the easy way, but it still delivers all the flavour and comfort for only a fraction of the effort.
To my Italian relatives, I apologise for messing with traditional recipes again. But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
350g chicken breast, diced
200g pumpkin, peeled and diced
2 cups jasmine rice
1.2 L chicken stock
1 large brown onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
150mL dry white wine
50g baby spinach leaves
1 tbsp mixed Italian herbs
¼ cup grated parmesan
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tbsp cream
Zest of ½ lemon
Salt & pepper
Olive oil (for frying)
This may be more ingredients than a standard Low-Fuss recipe, but most of it you can buy already prepped. Almost every supermarket sells pre-diced chicken breast and, as usual, for the pumpkin I use butternut squash which has already been peeled and diced.
You aren’t hallucinating, I did say jasmine rice in a risotto. Normal risotto rices take too long to cook, with all the stirring and whatnot, plus I like the extra hint of flavour that jasmine rice brings. You can use regular long white rice instead if you prefer. I’m not sure how basmati rice would work here, but feel free to test it if you want.
‘Mixed Italian herbs’ is usually a combination of dried sage, rosemary, marjoram and/or thyme. If you want to use a specific one of these herbs, they should all go well with both chicken and pumpkin. Fresh herbs are always good, but dried herbs require no preparation.
1. Fry the onion and garlic in some oil with a pinch of salt over a medium-high heat until browned.
2. Add the diced chicken and fry until browned.
3. Add the pumpkin and fry for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the white wine and herbs and allow to simmer for at least 30 seconds.
5. Stir in the rice.
6. Add 1/3 of the stock and stir until bubbling.
7. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and leave to simmer for 7 minutes.
8. Stir in half of the remaining stock, cover, and leave to simmer for another 7 minutes.
9. Stir in the remaining stock, cover, and leave to simmer for a final 7 minutes.
10. Stir in the spinach leaves and check the texture of the rice. (It should be basically cooked, and hopefully it has not dried out too much. If not, add an additional 150-200ml boiling water and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes or so until the desired consistency is reached.)
11. In a small bowl or jug, whisk together the egg, cream, parmesan, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper until combined.
12. Stir the egg mixture through the risotto until combined.
13. Serve immediately. (TIP: Sprinkle some toasted pine nuts and shaved parmesan cheese on top to give it a boost. I have been known to use crumbled feta instead of shaved parmesan if I have some hanging around in the fridge.)
Makes enough to serve 3-5 people.
A video of this recipe is also available - https://youtu.be/z6dBQdYapVM.