Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2 for 1 Italian Style

Free-range chicken can be a bit pricey so I try to make as much of one chicken as I can.  As there are only 3 of us, even a 4lb chicken ends up with leftovers.

I bought Gino D'Acampo's iDiet a couple of weeks ago when Bonzo and I had the day off for his birthday.  It all looked great so I'm having a Gino week.  On Saturday, the Wrigglebottom and I cooked pizza which is one of her favourite things.  The verdict was "not as good as Pepe's" but she still ate quite a bit.  To be honest that's as much about the fact that Pepe lets her help cook her own pizza when we go to his pizzeria (Bella's in St Peter Port) as Signor D'Acampo's recipe.

On Sunday, I did Gino's roasted chicken with rosemary and courgettes (The Italian Diet, p147;  The chicken was delicious and very quick to cook as it's cut in half and then slashed but I'd probably do the vegetables separately as the potatoes weren't quite crispy enough and the other veg were over done.

On Monday I stripped the chicken carcass bare and made chicken & pea risotto (p125, which scored a 9 all round and only took 35 mins to make including said chicken stripping.

1)  Strip your chicken and cut into 1cm chunks.

2)  Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.

3)  Chop an onion finely.

4)  Fry the onion gently for 4 mins.  At this stage you would normally add the rosemary but as our chicken had already been cooked with rosemary, I didn't bother.

5)  Put 300ml of chicken stock or a mix of stock and water (ie 1 packet of Knorr stock plus enough water to make up the difference) on to heat through in a separate pan.

6)  Add 90g of risotto rice per person to the onions and fry for 3 minutes stirring continuously.

7)  Add 50ml white wine per person to the rice and onions and cook for 3 minutes until it has almost evaporated.

8)  Add a little of the warm stock and stir occasionally until it has been absorbed by the rice.

9)  Continue adding the stock a little at a time until you've used it all.  Season well.

10)  After about 15 mins add 35g peas per person and the chicken and cook for a further 5 inutes over a low heat until the rice is thoroughly cooked and the chicken is hot.

11)  Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in about 25g butter (for 4 people) ubntil creamy.

12)  Finally, add 10g parmesan per person and serve immediately.

Heaven on a plate.  Grazie, Gino.

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