My hubby has this passion for risotto which is Italian rice cooked with cheese while I have great aversion for it. I hate the mention of risotto because many years back when we were in Milan, I was terribly sick with fever and the only room service food we had was risotto. Thick, gluey, orangey parmesan risotto.
This is orzo or a kind of pasta which is shaped like rice. I substitute orzo with Italian rice (which is hard to find and also expensive) to make risotto today. (you can read more from Barilla’s site)
But first, I need a chicken stock to make risotto. So, what I did was yank out the breast bone of this huge chicken to boil the stock with tomato, onion and whole potatoes (which I will turn into mashed potato). Yanking the breast bone sounds easy but don’t attempt it unless you have strong arm. LOL. I learnt about this ‘take off the breast bone’ method from a Provencale recipe book.
The whole chicken that was seasoned with only salt, pepper and XO brandy (just like my Christmas turkey and this recipe). I stuffed one orange to roast (ala Jamie Oliver’s turkey). First, microwave the orange for 1 min before stuffing in. I also stuffed some butter between the skin and flesh of the chicken to get this crispy skin. And rub with some sage (fresh herb). 1 hour roasting at 180 deg. celcius.
Ok, back to the stock. I put in several potatoes, peeled but leave it whole to boil with the chicken bones. Remove the potato and mash it. For the risotto, I use butter, a clove of garlic and a small bunch of chopped spinach. Heat butter, add garlic, add spinach and then the orzo. Pour in stock and simmer till soft. Add the stock bit by bit so that you can adjust the firmness. After it is soft but not mushy, add in grated parmesan and I also added some mozarella to make it gluey. Add some salt and pepper and that’s risotto to me!
Make the mash potato by just mashing up with only that metal thingie used to grill burger? And I got a dish that makes hubby speaks Italian. Hehehe.
As for me, I had a fun time pulling apart the chicken with my bare hands. My kids and I ate earlier so we used our hands to finish the whole chicken. After slicing up nicely some white meat for the hubby. Foods taste extra delicious when you forget about table manners. 😛