Yes indeed. After mentioning it in earlier posts, I thought it was time to wheel out the very reason this blog began. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you The Original Sloppy Risotto.
This was the first dish I decided I really could call my own. I didn’t use a recipe, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but somehow, it came out pretty darn good. Since then, this has been a favourite of mine and flatmate Lizzie’s, and we’ve established a rather effective routine: I cook, she washes up. Works for me.
Everyone bangs on about how hard it is to get risotto right, but I’ve never had a problem. I don’t for one minute think this is down to any kind of culinary brilliance on my own part, so I’ve come to the conclusion it’s one of those over-hyped rumours, and that, in fact, any student with a saucepan and a spoon can whip up.
So give it a go. This is risotto my way, and it’s scrummy, healthy and man, is it easy.
Chicken and Mushroom Risotto – Serves 1
75g risotto rice
75g mushrooms, sliced
1 chicken breast, cut into strips
300mls chicken stock
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, crushed
A sprinkle of mixed herbs (or oregano, if you have some)
Salt and pepper
1. As always, start by prepping your ingredients. Make up your stock with boiling water and half a stock cube, clean your mushrooms with a damp piece of kitchen roll, and chop what needs chopping.
2. Fry your chicken in a medium saucepan until cooked through, for about 4 minutes. Then chuck in the onion, mushroom and garlic, and fry for a further 3 minutes. You can add a handful of peas here, if you’re using them.
3. Tip your risotto rice into the pan, and then add a LITTLE of the stock. Keep stirring as it it soaked up. Keep up this routine, adding a little stock, waiting until it’s almost all gone, and then adding some more, stirring all the while.Of course, you can leave it long enough to lay the table, just keep an eye on it.
4. When you’ve added the last of your stock, season well with a pinch of salt and lots of pepper, and your herbs. When there is no longer any liquid swilling on the bottom of the pan, your risotto is done. It should be sticky and moist, but not runny. Sloppy. That’s the one.
5. Serve with some nice green salad, and enjoy!
Top tips for students
*Always heat your plates before you serve food onto them. This keeps your food hot while you eat. Just pop them in a very low oven or grill for a couple of minutes before serving.
*Don’t slice mushrooms too thinly – they shrink down a lot when cooked, so if you want some substance to your meal, cut them chunky.
*Use the non-sharp edge of your knife when scraping food off your chopping board – using the sharp side will blunt the knife
So there’s your risotto. You can use this recipe and build on it – that’s the risotto’s beauty, how versitile it is. If you’re a veggie, leave out the chicken and pack it with veggies. If you can afford the luxury, chorizo in your risotto will give the rice a beautiful tangy flavour. Play around – that’s the fun of cooking!