Chicken and chorizo risotto

This is a very, very tasty use of all of those bits from a roast chicken that you don’t get round to eating on its first appearance on the table. I rather enjoy stripping a cold chicken carcass after a roast: popping the oysters out of the underside, shredding the meat from a leftover leg with my fingers, and spooning any jellied juices into a bowl with the scraps. Now, those bits of chicken will serve to make a very fine sandwich with plenty of salt and pepper, but you can also make them work a bit harder as part of a rich, creamy risotto for supper the next day.

The quality of your chicken stock here is all-important, and the risotto will be much better if yours is home-made. I like to buy those very cheap boxes of chicken wings and pop them in a stockpot with the stripped carcass, some aromatics (bay, carrots, shallot and celery), a covering of water and a slug of white wine. You can make a handsome amount of stock like this, and freeze what you don’t use immediately.

To serve four, you’ll need:

As much meat as you can save from a roast or poached chicken (I had a whole leg and thigh, and scraps from the breast and underside, but you’ll be fine with less meat)
1 dried chorizo ring
320g Carnaroli risotto rice
1 litre hot chicken stock
75ml vermouth
3 banana shallots, diced finely
2 sticks celery, diced finely
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Zest of 1 lemon
75g frozen peas
60g grated parmesan cheese
30g butter
Salt and pepper

Chop the chorizo into coins, and each of those coins into quarters. While you cook the risotto, cook in a frying pan without oil until the chorizo is becoming crisp and the fat is running – once it reaches this stage, remove it from the heat and set aside.

In a large pan, saute the shallots and celery with the bay and fennel in the butter until the shallots are soft, but not taking on colour. Add the rice and continue sauteing over a low heat until the rice is coated with butter and looks translucent. Stir in the shredded chicken meat and pour over the vermouth, and stir until all the liquid is absorbed into the rice.

Add a ladle of the hot stock and simmer, stirring until the stock is absorbed. Add another ladle of stock and repeat until all the stock is absorbed into the rice, and the risotto is thick and creamy, the grains of rice al dente. This should take about 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest with the peas and parmesan, and check the seasoning, adjusting to taste. Remove from the heat and leave covered for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and stir the chorizo with its oil through the risotto, reserving a few pieces to scatter over the top. Serve immediately.

5 Replies to “Chicken and chorizo risotto”

  1. Liz,

    What are your feelings on he purchasing of intensively-famed chicken? Surely a gastronome would never think even once about buying or using chicken wings from such chickens whose welfare has been compromised for profit? Aren't we all about the finest ingredients from ethically-raised animals wherever possible? Buy a free-range or organically-farmed chicken and use the carcass to make stock instead, people.

    Pills

  2. I'm a realist (and I grew up with a farming grandfather) – it would be lovely to buy free-range, organic meats all the time, but for most people it's simply not possible. That said, you'll find boxes of free-range wings, which is what I usually use, at Waitrose – they're cheaper than other bits of the bird.

    I'm lucky. I live in a village where I can buy whole lambs to freeze from a local farmer, I can afford to visit a proper butcher, go to the farmer's market and all that middle-class good stuff. But I consider it very much a personal economic choice; if somebody cooking these recipes chooses to use a cheaper source of protein, I'm not here to judge.

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