So, when I originally made this, I didn’t have quite the right quantities for doing so (I think I only had half the necessary rice and tried to reduce accordingly), but what I got out of it was pretty good, and I definitely want to try making this again. Seems like a perfect spring type recipe, with the lemon, and especially with the herb garden I want to get going out here. 

Baked Risotto with Finnes Herbes and Lemon

Ingredients

  • 3 T butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts finely chopped and well washed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5 t sea salt
  • .5 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1.5 c arborio rice
  • 1.25 c dry white wine
  • 3.5 to 4 c chicken stock, warmed
  • .5 c Parmesan cheese (I used parmigiano reggiano)
  • .5 t fresh lemon zest
  • (original recipe recommends .25 c fresh parsley, 3 T finely sliced chives, and 1 T coarsely chopped fresh tarragon, I think I did a bunch of dried parsley and tarragon, going to try that again once fresh herbs are more in season)

Preheat your oven to 425. Keep your chicken stock warm in a separate nearby pot. While your oven preheats, take a large (roughly 2 qt, I used this to break in my new dutch oven) baking dish, and lightly butter it. If you’re me, what you’ll do is just use that dutch oven for everything, making this a one-pot meal. If you don’t have a baking dish that’s stovetop usable, grab a separate pot. Whatever you end up cooking in, melt 2 T butter over medium heat. Once melted, add your chopped leek and onion, sea salt, and pepper, and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, which should take around 10 minutes.

Then, add your rice. Stir to coat in the butter, and cook until the rice starts toasting (you’ll get a nice nutty smell, and it sizzles and pops a bit), about two minutes or so. Then, add your wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer until almost completely absorbed, about three minutes total. (And yes, in accordance with the other risotto recipes, you absolutely need to drink the rest of the bottle of wine for science.)  Then, add 3 c of chicken stock, bring everything back to a simmer, and either just put it straight in the oven, or, if you needed a separate dish, put it in that. 

Bake your risotto for five minutes at a time, stirring every five minutes, for fifteen minutes total, until the stock is completely absorbed into the risotto. (See the difference between pictures 3 and 4.) Remove from the oven, and stir in your herbs of choice, the remaining 1 T butter, the parmesan, and the lemon zest. Then add the remaining .5 to 1 c chicken stock slowly, and stir until the rice is creamy. Season to taste with more sea salt and pepper, and enjoy!

So, I’ve been meaning to try my hand at making chicken stock for a while, I’ve just been lacking a chicken carcass to do it with. As it happened, the gentleman whose apartment I’m taking care of was kind enough to leave me one in his freezer from right before he left for Paris, so with a pretty lazy Sunday in front of me, yesterday afternoon seemed like a good time to try my hand at it. And with a recipe of tithenai‘s that seananmcguire posted that’s been lurking in the back of my head a good long while, well, let’s just say I’m set for a meat soup base for a good long while. Also? This makes the apartment smell fantastic when you’re cooking it.

Tithenai’s Chicken Stock

Ingredients

  • chicken carcass
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium to large (or 2 smaller) carrot, chopped
  • 1 leek, white to pale green bits chopped (save the tough green bits for vegetable stock)
  • peeled garlic cloves to personal taste
  • water
  • 1 large stick cinnamon (or 2 small)
  • 1 stalk rosemary

Take your chicken carcass, and chopped onion, carrot, and leek, and put them in a pot. Add your peeled garlic cloves, to personal taste. (I added in like five, because of my love of garlic) Add water until the chicken carcass is covered. Then, add in a stalk of rosemary, and your cinnamon stick. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat, cover, and let cook for six to eight hours. I went with six. Stir at least twice an hour, and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting around hour two. Pictures four and five are after about one hour, and three hours, respectively. Picture six is what your stock will look like after about six hours, and with the heat turned off. 

Take a metal strainer, put a bowl underneath it, and slowly pour the contents of the pot through the strainer. (I ended up working in batches. Pic seven shows my strained stock, pot contents in the strainer on the left, and the already strained stock on the right. Be sure you have paper towel down around your work area to catch any stock that might jump out of the bowl as you pour.)

Then, take your stock, and use either immediately, put it in the fridge for a few days, or put in containers and store in the freezer until needed. 

Tomato. Bacon. Chutney. Really, there’s no combination of these three words that doesn’t result in deliciousness, and the chutney that’s been simmering on my stovetop ever since I finished my marathon of all of House of Cards just proves it.  (Yes, I watched all of House of Cards, starting Friday night.  ALL OF IT.)

Made a few alterations to the original recipe, most notably, more detailed instructions, because really, you shouldn’t have to wing it and hope it turns out okay because of vagueness in the original directions.

Tomato Bacon Chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 12 large cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • .5 lb thick bacon (as always, go farmer’s market if at all possible)
  • 2 T rice vinegar

Heat your olive oil over medium-highish heat, and take your diced leeks, garlic, and onion, and sautee until tender, about five minutes.  Add your honey and stir until fully combined, and then add your rosemary, paprika, tomatoes, and jalapeno. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce to medium/medium-low heat, and simmer for an hour.

While your chutney simmers, take your half pound of bacon, lay it out on a baking sheet with foil, and heat your oven to 325 (mine was at 300).  Put your bacon in the oven, and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes (25 minutes got me the second picture).  Once done, remove the bacon from the oven, let it cool, and then dice it and set it aside.

Once your chutney has simmered for an hour, season with salt and pepper, and stir in your rice vinegar. Then, remove the rosemary sprig and stir in your diced bacon, and enjoy the sexy, sexy goodness.