Chicken, Smoked Garlic and Pea Risotto

It’s always difficult when you go on holiday, as you try so hard to use up all your fresh ingredients before you go that it often leaves you with nothing to eat when you get home. This is one of those classic recipes that you need when your fridge is bare and you can only use your essential store cupboard and freezer ingredients (plus some slightly wobbly celery sticks from the fridge). It also has ingredients that we brought back from Tenerife, which was the saffron (at least I think it was saffron but my Spanish is not too hot). We went to this awesome market full of so much fresh veg and herbs and the prices were to die for; I tell you if they had a market like it in Bristol I don’t think there would be anything left within an hour. Anyway there were a couple of stalls that had jars of what looked like saffron for 2.50 euro’s and therefore I just couldn’t resist bringing some home. Going on the price and the quantity I am not 100% convinced that it is actually saffron but hey, if it looks and tastes like it then it’s good enough in my eyes!

Tenerife Easter 2013 200

–          5 cloves smoked garlic

–          4 chicken goujons

–          1 tbsp lemon juice

–          1 tbsp olive oil

–          Good pinch of saffron

–          3 stalks celery

–          200g peas

–          1 pint chicken stock

–          150g risotto rice

–          150ml white wine

–          ½ tbsp. white wine vinegar

–         1 handfull frozen sweetcorn

–          Salt and pepper

–          Fresh thyme

Serves 2

Preheat the oven to 200’C

Drizzle the garlic in oil and roast for 10-15 minutes until soft enough to just squeeze out the skin

Mix the chicken goujons with the lemon juice, oil and saffron and leave to marinate for 20minutes

Heat a non-stick frying pan to a high temperate and toss in the chicken, along with all the juices.

Fry on each side for about 3 minutes, check to see if the largest is cooked through and if is still a little pink in the middle cook a little longer until white all the way through, and then remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile heat the peas in the chicken stock for 2-3 minutes and blend together along with the smoked garlic.

Using the frying pan used to cook the chicken, heat a little extra oil and cook the celery for 3-4 minutes.

Add the risotto rice and stir so everything is well mixed together.

Add the white wine and the vinegar and stir until absorbed

A ladle at a time, add the pea stock, stirring until absorbed before adding the next. Continue to do this until the rice is cooked, which should take around 20 minutes

Bash the chicken with a rolling pin and flake apart. When you add you last drop of stock stir in the sweetcorn and the majority of the chicken, leaving a little aside to garnish

Season to taste and top with fresh thyme.

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