On shit days, you just have to eat your feelings. There is no greater comfort food for me than risotto. It’s not the healthiest of meals as it is full of cheese, but every so often, it is worth it.
Take a rainy Friday night in, a big bowl of risotto, and a glass of chilled white wine. You have yourself some homemade happiness.
Ingredients (serves two)
1 cup of arborio rice
1-2 cloves of garlic
8-9 button mushrooms cut in quarters (darker varieties will colour your risotto)
1/2 litre of real chicken stock (I use Campbells)
1 1/2 cups of shredded roast chicken
Knob of butter (optional)
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
Cracked pepper to taste – I wouldn’t use any salt as the stock makes it quite salty. You will need chardonnay to quench your thirst…
1) Chop the onion and fry on a low-medium heat for a good 20 minutes. At the ten minute mark, add chopped garlic and mushrooms. Up your heat a little.
2) Add arborio rice and cook for a few minutes on a medium heat, stirring a couple of times.
3) Add a cup of hot stock to the risotto. It is important that the stock is hot so that the arborio cooks properly.
4) Add a cup of stock at a time as the rice absorbs the liquid and swells. Stir lightly as you go.
5) Once the risotto is nearly cooked, add the shredded chicken and stir through. It doesn’t need too long as it is already cooked. I usually buy a free-range chicken the night before and have it on a salad. Then the next day I will add the leftover chicken to a risotto. I will then boil the chicken carcass in stock with a couple of carrots and an onion and make a serving of chicken soup. This way, none of the chicken is wasted and one person can get three meals out of it.
6) At this point, if you are not worried about your arteries, you can add a knob of real butter to the risotto, this gives it a silky texture. But I skip this step.
7) Take the risotto off the heat and stir through the parmesan cheese. The cheese is what makes it, so feel free to add more to the top when serving. Serve with a balsamic tossed salad if you want to offset the richness of the dish.
There you go, Prozac on a plate.
Much love XX
Photos: Katie Appleyard