‘Singing Aida’ Risotto

This is one of my staple meals – although it really irritates me that my 2 eldest children don’t like risotto – after all, it’s delicious and warming and a hug in a bowl. Risotto is made with love, pure and simple. There is no walking away from it. It is probably the only thing I make that I stand over the whole time and unless one of the children’s heads falls off and it is making a mess on the floor off I ain’t moving! I’m such a sympathetic mother, they could be bashing sticks over each others heads but risotto comes first.

I don’t always team risotto up, if you want to make a nice plain risotto (and an Italian once told me you should always be sparing with your risotto ingredients), all you need is a good stock. Luckily that is not a problem. We are religious in freezing meat carcusses and bones and fish bits, and when we have enough the kitchen becomes like a production line. Although we do have the benefit of having a chest freezer so don’t have ‘space’ issues. With I make risotto I ALWAYS make too much, this is not accidental, I am happy to have it as leftovers or make it into Slimming World Arrancini balls (recipe another day).

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Chicken Breast, Parma Ham and Risotto – serves 3 – 0.5 syns if using parmesan as Hex A and syn wine if using it

  • 3 x chicken breasts – whole
  • 3 x parma ham slices – 0.5 syn per slice
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped
  • 1 x garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 x good glug wine if you have it
  • risotto rice
  • Good chicken stock, kept heated in pan
  • Peas
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Rocket

Gently fry onion and garlic until soft but not coloured

Add risotto rice and keep stirring but leave it on the heat until it is ‘singing Aida’ (what a great description)- this takes longer than you think, be brave but do not let it burn.

Add wine and stir until nearly all of wine is evaporated and turn down to a simmer, then start adding warm stock ladle by ladle, only adding another one when the last one has been soaked up by the rice. Mr K insists that you should only stir this clockwise (something to do with not breaking down the rice) but I have to say I have never done this, just be kind to it.

Keep doing the above for a good 20 minutes until all of the stock is used and the rice has a ‘slight bite’. If you have used all of the stock and the rice is still not cooked you can then add water.

Season the chicken breast and wrap the parma ham around it, fry with a little fry light in a pan, turning over halfway through until cooked).

Add the peas to the risotto and cook for further 5 minutes.

Here is a really good tip. Once the risotto is cooked turn off the heat, stir in the parmesan and seasoning, add a little more water so that when you run a spoon across the pan the risotto falls back to make a flat surface, basically so it is not too dry. Put a lid on and leave for 5 minutes – this relaxes the risotto and all of the flavours merge to make a lovely, creamy risotto.

Once the chicken is ready stir the rocket through the risotto (if you wish) and slice the chicken breast and serve sprinkled with a little parmesan.

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