What Do I Make With Leftover Chicken? How About Chicken Risotto?
You could call this recipe What’s On Hand, Quick & Easy, or Clean Out The Fridge risotto but in the end you’ll be calling it delicious.
What do I love about risotto?
- Great when you can’t think of what to cook tonight and need a meal in a hurry.
- You can make it every week and never make the same exact dish the same twice.
- Perfect as a starter, side or main dish.
- Versatile – depending on what else you’re serving, you can come up with a risotto that will work with it.
- Easy to prepare and you can make a meal in 45-30 minutes or less.
- Risotto is a rice and rice is low in fat, has no cholesterol and is gluten free.
What’s On Hand
My wife called and said let’s make risotto tonight so I started looking through the refrigerator for available ingredients. I knew I had a box of risotto in the pantry and plenty of chicken stock both commercial and homemade in the freezer. There was even some leftover turkey stock in the freezer that I wanted to use up. You can usually find plenty of onions and garlic in our house on hand and the rest of the ingredients consisted of leftovers.
We had leftover steamed zucchini and honeyed carrots from Maddie’s birthday dinner and a roasted chicken breast from a previous meal. With sSome incredible extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese to finish the dish and we were set to go.
I didn’t measure anything out except the two cups of risotto rice at the start which means I needed at least 7 cups of stock. I used a combination of homemade turkey stock and commercial chicken stock.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - plus more for finishing at the end
1 large red onion - diced
3 cloves garlic - minced
2 cups Arborio rice
7 cups stock or broth about
1 cup leftover honeyed carrots - chopped
about 1 cup leftover steamed zucchini - chopped
1 leftover roasted chicken breast - chopped up into bite sized pieces
Salt & Pepper - to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese - to taste
How To Prepare At Home
Start by prepping your ingredients. This means getting everything together and chopping the onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini and chicken. You'll also want to heat up the stock in large sauce pan and have it ready to add to the rice.
Heat up a large sauté pan or maybe you are using a large pot but it is important to get it hot before you add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until it starts to turn translucent. I cook this at medium heat on my gas stovetop.
Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or two. Be sure to continuously stir the onion and garlic so they don't burn. Move the onion and garlic to the sides of the pan and add the Arborio rice.
Sauté for few minutes to slightly toast the rice and then combine the rice with the onion/garlic.
Start adding the hot broth to the rice one cup at a time being sure to stir continuously until it is absorbed by the rice before adding more. If the rice starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, turn down the heat a little and keep stirring.
When there is just one cup of stock remaining, add the carrots, zucchini, and chicken to heat through. Add the rest of the stock and keep stirring. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If you taste the rice and you think it needs more time, you can always add some hot water until the risotto reaches your desired creaminess.
Serve up in individual plates topped with a little extra virgin olive oil and fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
This a great meal that's easy to make and a fabulous way to clean out the refrigerator.
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