Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tomato, Chicken and Parmesan Risotto!

This was my first Daring Kitchen Cook's challenge! It wasn't as new or laborious as the tiramisu but still challenging. I have made risotto before but never my own chicken stock.

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

Chicken Stock
1 large chicken 2-3 pounds about 1 kg*
chicken bones 2-3 pounds 1 kg
2 onions, roughly diced
1 medium leek - white part only, roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. white peppercorns (any type of whole peppercorn will do)
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried, it doesn't matter)
peel of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. allspice

*Mine was more like a stock/broth since I used a 4-5 lb chicken and no bones until the last hour when I removed the chiken, shredded the meat and returned the bones to the pot.

Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil. Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface

Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil. Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours

Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!

Simmer the stock gently for another hour. At , at the end you should have around 2 Liters.

Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don't need for later use.

Risotto Base
Olive oil - 2 fluid oz/60 ml
1 small onion, quatered
Rice -14 oz/400g (Any type of risotto rice will do. I use Arborio but the recipe itself says Vialone Nano. Another to look for is Carnaroli)
White Wine - 2 fl oz/60 ml (I used Pinot Grigio)
Chicken stock, simmering - 2 pints/1 L

Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard.

Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly.

Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated. Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don't actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off. (haha! this made me laugh so I left it in...)

Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed. Repeat little by little until the rice is fully cooked. Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.

I decided to make a roasted tomato, parmesan and chicken risotto. So I sliced the tomatoes, keeping only the skins, into thin strips. In a 375° F oven, I put the strips on a baking sheet and roasted them for 35 minutes.

I reheated the chicken (6 oz shredded) in a pan and added the tomatoes.

I then folded in the tomatoes, chicken and 1/2 cup shredded parmesan. Serve and enjoy!! YUMM.

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