Maybe that title is misleading. The cookbook I got this from, “Plenty” by Diana Henry (oddly enough, there is another cookbook with the same name by a different author. I know this because I have one of them — and still checked the other one out by the library out of curiosity. Luckily for me, they were different cookbooks), calls this recipe “Restorative chicken and parsley risotto” which I think is just about the best title ever. It was restorative, especially because to me it kind of reminded me of if you’d made chicken soup and let all the noodles (in this case, risotto) get absorbed by all the broth.
My favorite part of this cookbook is an entire section devoted to chicken leftovers. I happened to roast a chicken the night before because I’d never done it before and felt like I should cross it off my life list. Plus, I wanted to make this recipe. (If you’re curious, I used the “Engagement Chicken” recipe to see if it was really that good. I joked with B that we could call it a “New Puppy Chicken” since we’re already married. Still waiting on the puppy…).
This recipe is so delicious, filling and comforting. Also, considering all the ingredients, it isn’t as rich as you’d think. I asked B, who is anti-rich-tasting foods (weirdo) and he approved this recipe.
I changed the recipe only to convert portion sizes. In the original recipe, it calls for 1/3 cup butter and most butter sticks come in tablespoons, so I had to do some converting mid-coooking which was annoying. Also, I would highly recommend having all of your ingredients handy so you aren’t running around throwing stuff on the counter while trying to stir the risotto. Not that I’d know what that’s like…I reversed the directions in here so that’s what the recipe makes you do anyway, because I’m helpful.
Chicken Soup Risotto
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
5 tbsp butter, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups risotto
1 3/4 cups leftover cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1 egg yolk
5 tbsp fresh Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 tbsp finely-chopped parsley
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
1. In a small bowl, squeeze the juice from the lemon half (remove seeds) and mix it with the egg yolk, Parmesan, parsley, cream, salt and pepper. Set aside to use later.
2. Heat the stock to a simmer and keep it simmering while you cook everything else. Heat half the butter (so 2.5 tbsp) and all the olive oil in a heavy saucepan and add the onion. Cook over medium heat until the onion is soft but not colored. Add the rice and stir to coat in the butter and onion mixture.
3. Add the stock a ladle at a time, stirring continuously. Add more stock only once the last ladleful has been absorbed.
4. Finely grate the lemon zest and stir it in about two-thirds of the way through cooking the risotto. Add the chicken in the last 5-10 minutes.
5. When the risotto is done cooking, remove from heat and pour in the egg/lemon juice mixture from step one. Add in the rest of the butter (2.5 tbsp) and stir gently but thoroughly. Taste to see if you need more salt or pepper. Cover and let rest for two minutes, then serve immediately, with more Parmesan if desired.