Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Recipe Review: Bill Granger's Oven Baked Chicken and Asparagus Risotto

This is a recipe I picked up from Bill Grangers book: Every Day . I now want to buy this book. The recipe was recommended to me.

It really is fab! But you will have to be quick if you want to make this one as asparagus is going out of season.... Which is sad that I will have to wait months and months to make this again but I'm also quite excited at the prospect of autumn and winter food... big warming casseroles and soups!

Back to the point of the post....

This is the easiest risotto I have ever had to make. It's sort of like a cheats risotto. It doesn't take hours to cook on the hob and you don't have to keep stirring it to get it to that perfect consistency. You cook it all up and whack it in the oven. Let it bake and you have an easy peasy (bit of lemon squeezey) absolutely divine risotto!

Not sure if I will get done for plagiarism for publishing this recipe... instead I am hoping the publishers and Bill Granger himself will see this as a bit of free advertising... as I after making one single recipe out of this book now have this book and Bill's Basics on my Amazon wish list (this will be emailed to all family and friends in 6-8 weeks just in time for Christmas hint hint...)

Serves 4 (or two very hungry people and a lunch the next day)


Olive Oil (just whack it in there no need to measure ... Just don't go all Jamie Oliver style and pour lashings of it in the pan.. just use as and when needed)
Chicken breasts cut in to thin strips - I used two big ones (not the skinny Tesco ones filled with water) but Bill recommends 500g
1 Onion finely chopped (try not to get eye raped whilst chopping said onion, instead get you sous chef to do this for you i.e boyfriend/girlfriend/mum/dad/unsuspectingfriend
1 Garlic Clove Crushed 
1 Tsp of Lemon Zest - this is very hard to measure out.. So I'd say about half a lemon's worth
250g Aborio Rice 
750ml Chicken Stock
175g Asparagus sliced on the diagonal - wasn't entirely sure if I did this right? I just cut diagonally?
35g of Parmesan Cheese plus extra to serve 
Sea Salt and Black Pepper 

How to make it:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Gas 4)... Now here the recipe tells you to make this in one big pot you can put on the stove and then in the oven. I am in search of one of these at the moment... and are seriously lacking in big pots to cook on the stove with.. so I am resigned to making everything in a Wok... Yep a Wok. Over it.. Then I transfer it all to a pyrex dish which I can put in the oven. But to save explaining this over and over again I will pretend I did it all in one big pot that can multi-task.

Pour some olive oil (about one tbsp) in to the pan (flameproof) and turn it up high. Add your chicken and cook tossing them frequently. In about 3-4 minutes they should be golden brown. Remove these from the pan and set aside... away from any lingering cats which may steal them...

Add some more olive oil to the pan (about 1 tbsp), then add in the onion stirring frequently until the onion is soft. Then add in your flavour your garlic and lemon zest only cooking these for about 30 seconds. Pour in your rice stirring to cover it in the oil. Add the stock and bring to a boil (keep stirring).

Then cover the pan and stick it in the oven for 15 minutes. Once your 15 minutes are up pop in your chicken and asparagus and continue to bake it for another 3-4 minutes... here in the recipe it says 'or until your asparagus is bright green and just tender' it took mine about 6-7 minutes for this to happen.

Please no comments on the state of my oven.

The next step is to stir in your parmesan.. I thought this would be quite difficult with such a large amount of food and wanting to make sure it was evenly spread I dished out the portions and then stirred it in. Once nicely arranged on your plate like mine is in the above picture season it with sea salt and black pepper. Then add some more parmesan on the top... Yum!