Food cooking and eating – stories and ideas from a passionate foodie

We had the third day of our chicken last night. Chicken and Mushroom risotto.

It made me think about a few things:

  1.  Chicken is very versatile.
  2. It may be the most suitable roasting dish to be utilizable (a new word??) for ‘intended left-overs’
  3. Even with ostensibly similar ingredients, a dish can ‘sing’ louder sometimes, and sometimes it’s just OK

This happens with my Bolognese  sauce every time we make it.  It doesn’t have that many ingredients (onions, minced beef, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, mixed dried herbs, a clove of garlic, crushed, some fresh Basil and salt /pepper), but it is always slightly different.

Can it be the ingredients, or just how we cook it?  Fascinating stuff!  (Look, I am a scientist, just bear with!!)

Tiny pieces - makes a different result??

Tiny pieces – makes a different result??

Onions cooked more slowly?  May get more caramelised?  Older onions – are already more sugary, as they attempt to grow…isn’t nature wonderful?  Slightly bigger onion – well, it will be more oniony!  Chapped finer?  Will brown more quickly, and maybe release more moisture?And that is just the onions!!

If I’m boiling up the chicken I always go to our butcher, where a good medium sized chicken will set you back £7 or so.  Tiny price per portion – this one has made 8 meals and two snacks for us – 80p a go…not bad!

Why was this risotto different?  Well I had made a lot of gravy for day 1 and day 2 roasts.  And added the chicken feet plus the lemon that had cooked inside the chicken into the gravy too – and boiled it for ages.  Maybe it’s the very good inseason mushrooms – they smelt rather fine – field mushrooms – made the risotto quite dark….  Maybe adding a teaspoon of lemon?

I don’t know – whatever it was, it was, it was quite spectacular.  If only we knew, we could repeat it!

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Comments on: "Just a chicken comment…" (2)

  1. Mike O said:

    Hey Phil,
    Just got an M and S chicken (plus vegetables, dessert and a £7 bottle of wine) all for £10. Now we need to see how many meals we can get out of it, following your ideas!! Mike

    • Well, as it is M&S, the chicken is safe to cook and boil up! I wouldn’t do that to “2 for a fiver” ones…you never know what’s in there! We do legs day one (and one slice of breast, – as th hot skin is nicest), more breast day 2 as roast. Day 3 chicken and mushroom risotto. An alternative is stir fry, maybe with some prawns added? And break up the carcass and boil with an onion (and the skin) roughly quarted in the stock – the skin helps colour the stock a lot. Any extra gravy – chuck that in too. Eat with loads of warm fluffy white bread – I add some pearly barley after removing the carcass leaving it overnight and adding 1 fluid ounce of barley (it expands madly) while re-simmering for an hour on day 4…Enjoy, Mike!

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