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Daring Cooks March – Risotto

Chicken Stock


1 lg. chicken 2-3 lbs.  1 kg.
Onions 2 medium   roughly diced
Leek 1 medium   white part only, roughly diced
Celery 2 stalks   roughly diced
Garlic 2 cloves   halved
Cinnamon  1 stick   Or 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp.   Any type of peppercorn will do
Bay leaf 2   Fresh or dried
Lemon peel ½ lemon   Doesn’t have to be zested
Allspice ¼ tsp.


1. Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil
2. Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface
3. Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil
4. Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours
5. Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!
6. Simmer the stock gently for another hour.  At , at the end you should have around 2 litres
7. Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. 
The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don’t need for later use.

Risotto Base


Olive Oil 4 TBS. 2 fluid oz. 60 ml.
Onion 1 small  quartered
Risotto Rice 1 3/4 cups 14 oz. 400 gr. Arborio, Vialone Nano, Carnaroli, etc.
White Wine 4 TBS.  2 fluid oz. 60 ml.
Stock 4 cups 2 pints 1 litre Chicken, Vegetable, etc. HOMEMADE


1. Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard.
(We diced ours and left it in as we like onion).
2. Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast
3. Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
4. Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don’t
actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off.
5. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of
the stock has been absorbed.
6. Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. (approx. ½ cup) of stock
for the final step.  Repeat, save 100 ml. (approx. ½ cup) for the final stage.
7. Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.

I decided to use some of the morels sent to my by Kirstin from the Foodie Exchange.

I also happened to have some fresh organic asparagus and peas in a pod from our organic box delivery that I needed to use up so I did a search for a risotto recipe using those items.  And voilà, Risotto with Asparagus and Morel ragout (from Gourmet, April 2006).

My thoughts?  I love the taste of homemade chicken stock and wish I could think to make it more often.  It really is so easy and much more flavourful than canned or boxed versions.  This particular risotto was a special treat since morels are not that easy to come by here (well I am sure if I hunted them down, I could find them but on a  day to day basis they’re not just on every supermarket shelf…). With a hint of lemon zest and the bright green vegetables, it was a nice taste of spring on a rainy night in March.

Thanks Eleanor and Jess for a great challenge!