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Saturday, February 5, 2011

No Recipe Required: Roast Chicken and Risotto

A couple of days ago I wrote a post about using recipes for everything and how I needed to get away from that. Well I figured there is no time like the present, so last night I made supper without using a recipe. I made a beautiful roast chicken and risotto with caramelized onions, peas and a touch of parmesan.

Last night’s supper planning started a few days ago when I ran into the GrassRoots Co-Op to pick up some milk and some flour. I often buy my flour in bulk and while I was scooping it out I saw that they had Arborio rice.  “Hmmm….” I thought myself, “I could make risotto with that.” I then measured out a cup or so and went on my merry way. The fact, that I have never made risotto, never really entered my mind.

Cooking started with the chicken. I often make roast chicken, so making it without a recipe is really not an issue. (Though I do always forget what temp to cook it to, 180° for those who now realize that they don’t remember either.) I rubbed it with olive oil, tarragon, garlic, rosemary and S & P. Then I tossed it in the oven at 350° until my thermometer read 180°. Easy-peasy.

Then came time for the risotto, for which originally I had intended to find a recipe. I looked at a few when I first got back from the store, but I really did not read them. I am not sure why, but they all seemed too frou-frou (go figure, frou-frou is actually in my spell check!). So I decided that I would just wing it. I thought about all the risottos I have seen made on TV, contemplated the few I have eaten and started cooking.

I started by thawing six cups of my homemade chicken stock in the microwave. After it thawed a bit I put it in a pot and brought it to a simmer. Then I heated some oil in a large skillet. I poured in my Arborio rice and roasted it until it was a light golden brown. I then started adding the chicken broth, stirring and adding more chicken broth, one ladle at a time.

At first I planned to make a very plain risotto. I figured that plain would be fine for my first attempt, but things were going so well that I got fancy. I kept adding stock a ladle or so at a time to the risotto while I cut up an onion and started caramelizing it. I was a bit worried about the timing of this, but in the end they were both done at about the same time. I then put the onions in the risotto, warmed some frozen peas, added some S & P and finished with some parmesan. It was quite good.

Sadly, the risotto was finished when the chicken was still at 165°, so it had to sit awhile before we ate. The risotto ended up being a bit too thick. However, everything was tasty AND I made our whole supper without reading a recipe while doing it!


5 comments:

  1. Looks great! And, I like making dishes without recipes. However, most of those are Filipino dishes with descriptions like "use whatever vegetables you have" and "just take your meat" without any amounts! Lol.

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  2. Wonderful, congratulations for your first Risotto! While reading your post I could really feel all the joy you had when preparing this yummy supper. Oh, and I would like to buy in that organic grocery store, too!

    By the way, what does "S & P" mean? Google only talks about it only as a common stock index...

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  3. ~YummyChunklet~ "use whatever you have" is the best kind of recipe.

    ~Thomas~ S & P = Salt and Pepper.

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  4. Well done you for not using a recipe! I am a sucker for sticking rigidly to recipes and wish I could just make things up as I go as my husband does.

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  5. This looks wonderful for a meal done sans recipe. I'll wager it was as tasty as it was beautiful. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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