Rangitikei Chicken Recipes
Chelsea Winter’s – Chicken, Thyme & Mushroom Risotto
PREP 15 MINUTES COOK 45 MINUTES SERVES 6
500g Rangitikei free-range chicken thighs
4 cups salt-reduced chicken stock
neutral oil, e.g. avocado or grapeseed, for frying
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1¾ cups Arborio or short-grain rice
²∕³ cup white wine (sauvignon blanc, pinot gris or chardonnay)
350g Portobello or brown mushrooms, chopped
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, pulled off sprigs
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
75g butter, cubed
¹∕³ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
extra thyme or chopped parsley,to serve
squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Pour the stock into a medium-sized saucepan, cover and bring to a simmer (you’ll add this to the risotto later). Turn the heat off and keep covered so it stays hot.
Arrange the chicken on a board and pat dry on both sides with paper towels. Cut into bite-sized pieces and season all over with salt and pepper. Place 1 tablespoon of the frying oil in your largest frying pan over a high heat. When very hot, add the chicken and let it sizzle, without stirring, until browned on one side. Turn to brown the other side. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Pour the olive oil into the same pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and celery and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until softened and translucent. Add the rice, increase the heat and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure the rice is evenly coated in oil. When the rice is very hot (but not browned), it should start to hiss and sizzle. Pour in the wine, stir and let it bubble for another minute or so until the liquid has evaporated. Place the chicken back in the pan with the mushrooms and thyme.
Reduce the heat to medium-low again. Add a bit less than ½ cup (almost a ladleful) of the hot stock to the pan and let it simmer gently while you keep stirring with the wooden spoon/ shimmying the pan until the liquid is absorbed into the rice. Repeat this process until you’ve used all the stock — it should take 20–30 minutes. When the rice is cooked, it should be tender but still with a bit of an al dente bite in the centre. You want the risotto to be slightly wet and soupy rather than dry. Add the Parmesan, butter and parsley and stir. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as desired. You probably need more than you think — there is a lot of rice there.
To serve, spoon into bowls and sprinkle with extra herbs and Parmesan. Add a squeeze of lemon if you like.
Great served on its own or with a fresh salad and crusty bread.
Recipe from Chelsea Winter’s “Eat” cookbook