My family and I love all types of foods. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, and my husband and kids are used to seeing new things on the dinner table. Of course, they don’t always eat what I serve them, even if they are delicious. Despite these setbacks and disappointments, I keep moving forward (Remember, “Meet the Robinson’s?”). The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf. I’ve only had Risotto once, loved it yet never made it at home. How could I pass this up?
Part of the challenge was to make your own chicken stock. I’ve done this dozens of times and had homemade chicken stock in the freezer. One of my favorite meats that I serve my family is the fryer chicken. When on sale, you can get it for as lows as 50¢/lb. I always stock up and keep them in my freezer. But instead of making stock with the whole chicken, I usually roast it a number of different ways, and use the carcass to make the broth. The marrow and cartilage is the heart of a good chicken stock. To enhance the flavor more, I add whatever veggies and herbs I have at hand: carrots, onions, celery, cauliflower, parsley, cilantro, bay leaves, rosemary, garlic…. It’s easy to do, and helps you stretch your dollar and your $2 bird to a new meal.
For my homemade chicken broth recipe, click here.
From what I’ve learned about Risotto, you start with the base. First you sauté your onions and garlic in a little olive oil, then you add the Arborio rice and toast it up. Next, add your white wine and mix it in until the wine has evaporated. I modified Rachel Ray’s recipe for Lemon Risotto. We are lemon fanatics and it matched up well with the left over chicken I was planning on serving for dinner. I added the chicken stock, about a cup at at a time, stirring occasionally, adding more stock as it gets absorbed by the rice. For one cup of rice, four cups of stock was used. Also added was lemon zest, juice of one lemon, 1/3 cup pecorino cheese, little butter, dash of sugar, and 2 TBS slivered mint leaves.
It was a little cheesy for my taste, which is why I reduced the amount from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup, but the lemon and mint were a great flavor pairing with the the rest of the risotto. I was little nervous that my risotto would turn out to be a gluey mess, but it didn’t. It was creamy and smooth and rather delicious. I can’t wait to try some of the other great risotto combinations. For the full Lemon Risotto Recipe click here!
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