Creamy & Light Chicken, Bacon & Pea Orzo

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If you follow me on Instagram you will know this was in fact last night’s dinner, we’re having steak tonight, but this turned out so utterly delicious I decided to pop the recipe up for you all. My full intention was to make one of the many healthy risotto recipes I already have up on my blog but alas when I opened the press I had very little Arborio rice left but I did have a full packet of Orzo pasta so I had to think quick on my feet and with a few google searches later, an amalgamation of and tweak of several previous recipes and I had formulated my very own recipe using the ingredients I had available to me in the fridge. I cannot recommend this one highly enough, regardless of the fact it was thrown together rather haphazardly, it actually turned out to be the tastiest and best thing I have made in quite a little while (as is often the case) and that’s saying a lot because in my humble opinion my recipes are pretty darn tasty to begin with if I do say so myself. It isn’t unlike a risotto in texture and consistency so if you’re a huge risotto fan like me you will just adore this little spin on it. Continue reading

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Creamy Chicken, Bacon & Pea Risotto

Me & Risotto are bessie mates, so much so that I can knock it out midweek with my eyes practically closed. It has a real reputation for being a tricky & difficult dish to make but it’s really, really not. It’s a little time consuming with all the stirring but that’s the only taxing part & it’s ready in just 20 minutes so really not that taxing after all! I get asked every time I post a recipe for risotto if you can use different rice or ordinary basmati rice and the answer is unfortunately no you definitely can’t, you need to buy the special risotto rice as the dish only works with a short grain rice, it’s all about the creaminess with risotto and other rices just don’t have the same starch content to create that effect. Arborrio rice is the most common risotto rice & it is widely available in all main supermarkets and it’s really not that difficult to source so good news there! This serves 2 at 9 Smartpoints or Macros 395Cal Protein 35 Carbs 54 Fat 4  Continue reading

Exquisite Bacon, Garden Pea & Baby Asparagus Risotto with Manchego Cheese

  

Me & Risotto have a love affair situation going on. It’s creamy & flavoursome, warm and comforting, it’s like a hug in a bowl really. It has long held a bad reputation for being difficult to master but that is far from the truth. It takes a little loving with the time to stir & tend to it, but difficult?… No. This version has beautiful vibrant green asparagus & peas & a note of sweet & nutty manchego cheese. You can have a nice comfy portion for 9 propoints (7 on F&H). Serves 4. Here’s the skinny:  
240g Arborio Risotto Rice

8 Lean Bacon Medallions Diced

2 Large Shallots Diced

80g Frozen Garden Peas

A Bunch of Baby Asparagus 

1 Clove Garlic

45g Manchego Cheese Grated

1 & 1/2 Litres Chicken Stock made with 1 Stock Cube

A Handful of Fresh Thyme Leaves

Salt & Black Pepper 

  
Place your stock into a saucepan over a low heat for the duration of cooking so it stays nice and hot. Heat a large based saucepan over a medium heat & spray it with oil. Cook the Bacon & Shallots for about 5 minutes until the bacon is cooked and the shallots are soft. Trim the ends off the asparagus & add it & the frozen peas to the pot cook for another 3 to 4 minutes stir it gently so you don’t break up the asparagus. Add the crushed garlic & stir for a further 30 seconds. Add the rice to the pot & cook for 2 minutes stirring regularly until the rice goes a bit translucent around the edge with a white centre. Start adding the stock 1 ladel at a time and gently stir the risotto regularly. Wait until the ladel of stock is absorbed before adding the next one. You probably won’t use all the stock just use as much as the risotto absorbs within the cooking time. It will take 20 minutes to fully cook the rice. 

 

About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time season with salt & pepper and the fresh thyme. When it’s cooked take the pot off the heat & stir in the grated manchego cheese. Put a lid on the pot and allow the risotto to rest for 3 to 5 minutes prior to serving. Serve & enjoy!  

Creamy Chicken & Chorizo Risotto

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I love Risotto, there’s something very comforting about a warm creamy bowl of rice bursting with masses of flavour. It has a bad rap for being tricky to make but it’s really not all that hard just a little bit time consuming with all the stirring but so worth the effort. Chicken & Chorizo are a flavour combination made in heaven & the basil & parmesan lift this dish to another level! You would never guess this is a skinny version coming in at just 12 Smartpoints ( 11 Smartpoints on No Count or 11 Propoints or 9 Propoints on the Filling & Healthy plan) Enjoy!

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Serves 4

  • 240g Arborio Rice
  • 2 Chicken Fillets diced into small chunks
  • 120g Chorizo Sausage, skin removed & finely sliced
  • 1/2 Large Onion diced
  • About 1 & 1/2 litres Chicken Stock made with 1 Stock cube
  • 40g Grated Parmesan
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Handful of Piccolini Basil (or normal Basil will do)
  • Salt & Pepper

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Put a medium pot of boiling water onto the heat and add your Chicken Stock cube. Keep the stock simmering on a low heat the entire time. In a large pot, gently dry fry the Chorizo over a medium heat for around 5 mins until the natural oil is released. Remove from pan & place in a bowl, set aside. Gently fry the Chicken Pieces in the Chorizo Oil for 5/8 mins until cooked through. Place in the bowl with the cooked Chorizo & set aside.

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Fry your onion for 5 mins in the same pan until soft & add the rice, fry for approx 4mins until rice grains go slightly translucent with a white centre. Crush your garlic into the pot & fry for 30 secs. Add a ladel of stock & you can add the cooked Chicken & Chorizo back into the pot at this stage. Season with Salt & Pepper. Keep stirring regularly as this massages the starch from the rice & continue adding the stock a ladle at a time making sure that all the previous stock is absorbed before adding the next ladle (when you drag the wooden spoon across the bottom of the pot the Risotto should stay parted for a few secs, this is how you know the previous stock has been absorbed.)

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The Rice will take approx 20mins to cook through. You don’t need to add all the stock just as much as it absorbs in the cooking time. Take off the heat. Add your grated Parmesan & Basil, stir and cover with a lid and allow to rest for 5 minutes & Enjoy!