I don’t really know how to categorise this one – the
risotto part is a kind of riff on the theme of paella/jambalaya, with oozing
golden rice, rich spicy chorizo and a whole rainbow of colourful veggies, and I
think it goes beautifully with a bit of roast chicken, with crispy, salty skin
on top. The risotto looks prettiest with three different coloured peppers in
it, but this is one of those recipes where you can chuck in pretty much
whatever you’ve got lurking in the veg drawer.
A couple of chicken thighs or drumsticks – whichever you
At least 2 peppers in different colours
5 big closed-cup mushrooms
200g risotto rice (or normal long grain, if you’re on a
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
Turmeric, cumin and a bit of ginger
Serves 2, with
some risotto left over for the next day.
This dish needs plenty of time but not too much
attention, so once you’ve got it started you can leave it to bubble (topping up
the water every now and then). First of all, get the risotto going – dice the
onion, chop up the mushrooms, and de-seed and chop the peppers (a handy tip for
doing this quickly is to stand the pepper up with its stalk at the top, then
slice off four ‘sides’, leaving the stalk, pith and seeds in the middle). Chuck
the peppers and onions into a pan (I like to use my wok for this) with a splash
of olive oil. While they start to sizzle and soften, roughly chop the chorizo,
then add that and the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and then add a
good sprinkling of cumin and ginger (if you’ve got fresh ginger, you can use
some of that instead – a piece about the size of the top joint of your thumb,
finely chopped or grated).
Stir and toss for a few minutes until the onions have
turned a lovely golden-brown, then add the rice and keep stirring until it’s
been nicely coated with the oil. Next, pour in the chopped tomatoes, then
refill the empty can with water and pour that in too. Sprinkle a generous
helping of turmeric over the top. Mix well, then turn the heat down to medium
and leave it to bubble.
In the meantime, put the oven on to heat up at 180˚C fan (add 20˚C if your oven isn’t fan), then
prepare your chicken – pop it in a small earthenware dish, drizzle with oil,
and sprinkle with salt and a bit of rosemary. Roughly chop a clove of garlic
into four or five pieces and scatter these across the dish too. When the oven
gets up to temperature, pop the dish in and set a timer for 45 minutes.
Keep an eye on the risotto – it’s a low-maintenance one,
compared to many recipes, but give it a stir every now and then and when it
looks like it’s getting dry, add another half-canful of water. The rice will
probably cook fairly slowly, so with a bit of luck, the risotto and the chicken
should be ready at the same time. If the chicken is done first (i.e. the timer
goes off but the rice is still a bit hard), it won’t do it any harm to stay in
the oven for a bit until the risotto is done – just turn down the heat.
Once everything is ready, serve up a couple of chicken
pieces for each person with a steamy, fragrant helping of risotto, and top with
a little grated cheddar – marvellous warming food for a gloomy autumn evening.