This is another slightly random recipe concoction that really paid off. I love risotto and I am crazy obsessed with Thai food, but I had never really thought of combining the two. To be honest that wasn’t really my plan when I set out to cook this; I had marinated my chicken and I was thinking of a sort of coconut rice to go with it and it just turned into this. I have to say it was one of the tastiest food discoveries I have ever made; every flavour worked perfectly. There was a lovely sweet stickiness from the rice, but this was then met with a whack of chilli and a tanginess of lime, the chicken then married all the flavours together and I think it is really important to get the skin lovely and crispy so you have multiple textures to add to the palette. If this recipe doesn’t encourage you to be adventurous then I don’t know that will.
The other great thing about using paella rice instead of Arborio is that you don’t have to tend to it like risotto and you can just leave it to thicken without standing over the pan constantly stirring; it gives you take to sit down, put your feet up and enjoy a glass of wine (or do the washing).
For the chicken marinade
– 2 chicken legs – thighs and drumsticks separated and thighs boned
– 1 tsp Thai green curry paste (check out my previous blog recipe)
– Juice ½ lime
– 2 tbsp light coconut milk
– 1 tsp sugar
For the risotto
– 1 red pepper – chopped
– 1 courgette – finely sliced
– 160g paella rice
– 1 clove garlic – crushed
– 1 tsp green Thai curry paste
– The remaining coconut milk
– 250ml hot chicken stock
– Salt and pepper
– ½ lime & fresh coriander to serve
Mix together the marinade ingredients, pierce the chicken skin several times with a sharp knife and marinate for at least an hour
Preheat the oven to 180’C
Heat an oven proof griddle pan to a high temperature and fry the chicken to brown the skin for a few minutes on each side.
Transfer the chicken to the oven, spooning over any remaining sauce, and roast for 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear when poked.
To make the risotto, simply fry the pepper and the courgette in a splash or oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and the curry paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously
Stir in the rice until it is well coated
Mix the stock and the coconut milk together and then add to the pan.
Bring it to the boil and then leave to simmer on a medium-low heat, according to the pack instructions or until the juices have almost all absorbed with a very slight andante crunch.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to stand for 2 minutes.
Slice up the thigh meat and stir this into the risotto, along with any of the leftover juices.
Season to taste and serve with the drumstick, a good squeeze of lime and some fresh coriander