Hello lovelies! It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Wales, and in the rest of the UK too, I believe. That doesn’t mean I’m not sitting here in my beautiful blogging room with a warm blanket over my shoulders and wishing I had on socks and slippers rather than bare feet… It was so warm on the school run earlier, but it’s funny how inside is often so much cooler than outside on a sunny day. I had intended to sit down at my computer this morning and literally just churn out my blog post so I could get on with other things such as finishing making the Roman blind I’ve been working on for my younger son’s room, but, as usual, I had to spend ages removing photos from my phone after realising I hadn’t downloaded any recipe photos for ages and my phone was full of them. I also realised I hadn’t been keeping on top of my recipe list of things I’ve made already to publish, and that’s a bit of a nightmare because I’ll see this huge block of photos on my phone taken some weeks ago and struggle to remember what it was… I suppose that’s the problem with only being able to properly sit down at this once a week during term time!
Fear not for this week though, because this recipe is delicious and satisfying, with a tiny bit of a timing challenge for you if you struggle to multitask whilst cooking (see the end of the post for more help with this) and I haven’t forgotten what it is! It’s a really tasty risotto combining some favourite and popular ingredients. It’s baked rather than cooked on the stove top, so you can just let the rice cook whilst you prepare the rest of the meal. This is a great family meal which is hearty and tasty but includes plenty of nourishment from the mixture of ingredients which includes a diverse selection of food groups from meat to vegetables, grains and dairy, with loads of fantastic flavour thrown in with onion, garlic and parsley. Give it a go and let me know if you and your family enjoy it!
- 1 large or 2 small chicken breasts
- 250g Arborio risotto rice
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 200g frozen peas
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- 500ml chicken stock from a cube
- Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Olive oil
- Knob of butter
- Grating of cheddar cheese
- Stove-top casserole
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.
In a stove-top casserole, melt the butter on a medium-high heat and add the chopped onion. Stir occasionally but allow to catch on the bottom for a lovely golden colour.
Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and chop into small chunks then place in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a medium simmer and cook until softening nicely.
Once the onion is nicely golden and crispy, add the rice, stir for a minute, then add 450ml of the stock, bring to the boil and season. Put on the lid and turn off the heat.
Place the chicken in an oven-proof dish, drizzle with olive oil and season, then put in the oven at the same time as the rice with the chicken on a shelf below the rice, if possible. Set the timer for 25 minutes, after which time remove the casserole and add the peas to the rice and stir in. If necessary you can add the remaining 50ml stock, or just a splash, but the moisture from the peas will also add to the moisture in the rice, so only add if necessary. Bake for about three more minutes then remove risotto and chicken from the oven.
Whilst the rice and chicken are cooking, make the garlic smashed sweet potato. Heat a large, shallow frying pan with a lug of olive oil on a medium-high heat. Crush the garlic with the side of a chef’s knife and chop into tiny pieces then add to the pan and allow to sizzle and become fragrant (but not burnt!) for one minute. Add the sweet potato and season the mixture, then sauté and stir-fry the sweet potato for about ten minutes or so. It’s nice if the potato breaks up a bit (hence the “smashed” in the recipe title) so you don’t need to be gentle with it. The garlicy oil and golden garlic pieces will combine beautifully with the sweet potato as it cooks.
Once everything is ready, shred the chicken and add to the risotto along with the garlicy sweet potato, parmesan and chopped fresh parsley. Mix together well and check the seasoning, then serve into large bowl and finish with a generous grating of cheddar cheese.
This recipe may sound like it has a lot of steps, but really they all coordinate with each other. You peel and chop the sweet potato and get it on the hob whilst waiting for the onion to colour; once the chicken and risotto have been in the oven for about 10 minutes you can start to fry the garlic and then the sweet potato will be ready to add to it; and everything comes together nicely at the same time, ready to be combined. Just have a good read through the recipe before you start, which I always do whatever I’m making, because that allows you to plan ahead and see how you can multitask to enable the preparation to run smoothly and for all the elements to come to together at the correct time. This is such a simple recipe that it’s a good one to practise this on, if you are looking to improve your preparation and coordination of meals.
I hope you and your family love it!
Thank you for taking the time to read,