So, it's November 20th, and there are STILL delicious Early Girl tomatoes available at the Farmer's Market. While Bautista Farms' toms aren't dry-farmed like Dirty Girl's, they are still incredibly delicious for this late in the season. After scoring 18lbs of soft Girls for $5, I headed home, ready to make an enormous batch of my revelatory Tomato Soup to freeze.
Course, since I haven't cooked in WEEKS, I got home to find that I had no chicken stock. Fortunately, there was a nice little 4lb bird in the freezer, along with plenty of onions, carrots and celery from today's visit to the market, and so I set about making a big pot of stock.
I should mention that I've never made stock from a whole bird before; for me, the roasted chicken is the primary product, and the carcass becomes fodder for stock. So I've never had the achingly moist, tender chicken meat that results when a whole chicken goes into the stockpot.
After using what I needed for my tomato soup, I was inspired to make something with the chicken and remaining stock. I checked the pantry and found a bag of arborio rice I hadn't touched in a few months, and a Delicata squash that I wanted to play with.
Thirty minutes later, I served up one of the most delicious risottos I've ever made.
Chicken and Squash Risotto
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 leek, white parts only, sliced thin
- 1 c. arborio rice
- several cups of chicken stock
- 1 delicata squash or half a butternut squash
- shredded meat of half a chicken
- 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup cilantro (coriander leaf), chopped
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a risotto pan or saute pan. Add onion and leek, and saute until translucent and golden at the edges.
- Add the rice, stirring to coat with the oil in the pan. Cook for just a minute, then add two ladlefuls (1-1 1/4 cups) of stock. Add 1/4 tsp of salt (adjust down if you are using a commercially-prepared broth). Stir as you would any risotto, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth by the cup until the rice is translucent at the edges, but still has a crunch.
- Meanwhile, peel the squash and cut into 1/2" chunks. Place in a microwave-safe dish with 3 tbsp of the stock. Microwave on high for 2 minutes at a time, until the squash is tender.
- Add the squash and chicken to the rice, along with the rind of the lemon.
- Once the rice is creamy and tender, with a slight toothsomeness, add the juice from the lemon along with the cilantro.