Chicken risotto with mushrooms and bacon

I very rarely eat rice these days as it’s pretty high in carbs. So, when I do, I want it to be something really delicious and this really is! I usually make it when I’ve roasted a chicken for another meal and then use any leftover breast meat and stock made from the carcass – the better the stock, the better the risotto! As long as you prep everything you need before you start, you should have this on the table in roughly half an hour. Enjoy!

chicken risotto

Serves 2

  • 150g risotto rice
  • 1 litre of light chicken stock
  • 100g chopped cooked leftover chicken
  • 70g butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed into a paste
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 70ml Noilly Prat for preference or dry white wine
  • Maldon sea salt and pepper
  • 60g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped chives 
  • 3 slices of streaky bacon
  • 8 chestnut mushrooms
  • a handful of chopped fresh parsley or chives
  • Salt and pepper

To make…

  • Risotto needs to be cooked quickly so prep all the risotto ingredients first and all will run smoothly i.e. chop the shallots and celery, slice the mushrooms and bacon, chop the herbs, heat the stock, grate the cheese etc. 
  • Fry the bacon in its own fat. Set aside. Fry the mushrooms in the bacon fat. Set aside with the bacon. 
  • Melt half the butter in a sauté pan and lightly colour the shallots and celery. Add the rice, stir and coat in the butter. Add the garlic, Noilly Prat or wine, ladle over enough hot stock to cover. Stir and leave it to cook for a few minutes. Keep adding the stock and stir the risotto until the rice goes creamy and is slightly al dente. This should take about 20 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the Parmesan. Add a little more stock if it looks stodgy and adjust for seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the cooked chicken. 
  • To serve, spoon the risotto onto warm plates and top with the bacon, mushrooms and herbs. 

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Bengali roasted vegetable medley

Before Covid and numerous lockdowns changed life as we knew it, we were due to take a weekend break in Liverpool where we had hoped to book into one of the Mowgli Street Food restaurants. Well, obviously, that never happened but I did get their excellent cookery book for my birthday (thank you Nick and Sam) and this is a recipe inspired by that. I used a slightly different veg and spice mix and I couldn’t get hold of the white poppy seed paste that they use but this version still works beautifully. It’s very easy to make and although it would work really well as a vegetarian main course (scattered with some chickpeas), I serve it it with my Chennai chicken curry or slowly roasted spiced lamb. Make plenty, it’s lovely reheated and topped with a fried egg for a quick lunch the next day. 

bengali root veg
  • 3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil and 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 green chillis, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1 potato
  • 1/2 small cauliflower broken into florets
  • 1/2 cup of petit pois
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander

To make…

  • First, peel and prep all your vegetables. The squash, parsnips, carrots and potatoes need to be roughly the same size so they cook evenly – roughly 2 0r 3 cm cubes. 
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C
  • Heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the nigella seeds and fry for a minute or two to release their flavour. 
  • Next, add the onions and chilli and stir through for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables, the spices and salt. Make sure all the pieces are coated in the oil and butter and cook for another couple of minutes to seal in the moisture. 
  • Transfer the mixture to a large shallow sided roasting tray and cook in the oven on the middle shelf for approximately 45 minutes. The vegetables should caramelise and crisp up a little. 
  • Once the vegetables are ready, remove from the oven scatter with the peas and coriander and a little extra sea salt and black pepper. 

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

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Coq au vin blanc

I always used to make coq au vin with red wine but I find this white wine version more elegant and it doesn’t overpower the delicate flavour of the chicken. The sauce is so delicious that you could make it separately and add chopped leftover cold chicken just to ring the changes. Serve it with fluffy mounds of buttery mash for a perfectly delicious French bistro classic supper. 

coq au vin

Serves 6

  • 1 whole chicken, jointed or a pack of 12 skinless chicken thighs dusted with 1 tbsp of plain flour (you could also use cooked leftover chopped chicken or turkey)
  • 4 banana shallots, peeled with the root intact and quartered lengthwise
  • 80g pancetta or bacon lardons
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed to a paste with a little salt
  • 500ml dry white wine
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 egg yolk whisked into 100ml double cream (I have also used Greek yoghurt or creme fraiche for a lighter, slightly more tangy flavour)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil

To make…

  • Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  • Heat half the oil and butter in a cast-iron casserole and sauté the pancetta, shallots and garlic for a few minutes until the shallots have softened and turned golden. Add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes until all the remaining fat has been absorbed. Transfer it to a bowl. 
  • Add the remaining butter and oil to the casserole and brown the chicken pieces in a couple of batches (omit this step if you use leftover turkey – just make the sauce and add the meat at the end).
  • Put all the chicken back in the casserole with the wine, stock, bay leaf, thyme, mushrooms, shallots and pancetta. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and put in the oven for about 45 minutes so the chicken will cook through gently.
  • Remove from the oven, pour off the liquid into a saucepan and keep the chicken covered. Reduce the sauce, take it off the heat and then whisk in a ladle of the stock to the egg and cream mixture before whisking it back into the stock. Place over a medium heat so that it thickens slightly but don’t allow it to boil. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. 
  • Pour the thickened sauce over the chicken, garnish with chopped parsley. 

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website. 
  • Follow me on Twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen, and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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