Chicken, Chorizo and Rosemary Risotto with Roasted Balsamic Baby Tomatoes

 

Every other month we enjoy stretching our culinary muscles and making dinner for Jim and Sandra.  It’s our time to try new and special recipes that might be a little more challenging – and sometimes exotic – than we might do for our selves.  It’s a lot of fun, and the bonus is that on our off months it’s their turn to cook for us!  We’ve been doing this for a number of years, and we’ve never been disappointed!  This past weekend was no exception.

Our menu for the evening consisted of a savory risotto from Jamie Oliver, with earthy seasonings and a healthy portion of roasted baby tomatoes.  I’ll be honest, I know them as grape tomatoes, but who am I to argue with Jamie Oliver?  It was his recipe, so he made the call.  The rich scent of the tomatoes was intoxicating as they roasted in the oven.

Jamie’s roasting method called for an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees Celcius, so that was our first bit of fun.  Does anyone recall the formula for converting Celcius to Fahrenheit?  That’s right!

Fahrenheit = (Celcius * 9 / 5) + 32     or, conversely     Celcius = (Fahrenheit – 32) * 5 / 9

Extra points for anyone who happened to get that right.  (I did, in case you’re wondering.)  When the math portion of cooking was finished, Jim needed to set the oven for 356 degrees F.  I believe he settled for 350 degrees F, and everything worked out fine.  I give Jim credit for working from a Jamie Oliver recipe anyway, as the terminology is sometimes “challenging” for a U.S. cook:  “put a good lug of olive oil in a sautee pan on the hob”.  We don’t work with lugs and hobs that much in the upper midwest, but life is an adventure!

With the tomatoes roasting, he set aside all of his ingredients and carefully got ready to begin The Big Stir.  This was a wise bit of preparation on his part, because he knew that a) once he started he was going to be committed to stirring that dish constantly for next 20 minutes and b) as predicted, his co-chef abandoned him to go chat with the rest of the girls in the living room!  No matter, he performed like a champ, and the result was a fantastic dinner.

The risotto was served with steamed broccoli and cauliflower and a salad, and the entire dinner ended with a freshly made fruit tart with a dollop of ice cream on top.  (Full disclosure:  Our hostess Sandra did return to prepare the tarts, and they were fantastic!)  In all, it was a fabulous dinner, greatly enjoyed by everyone.

Yum!

Ingredients:

  • Chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1 free range or organic chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • Risotto rice – 1/2 cup per person
  • 1 large glass of white wine
  • Olive oil
  • 1 courgette, sliced at an angle
  • Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • One handful fresh rosemary stalks
  • Baby tomatoes
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Good quality organic chicken stock
  • One red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Butter

Preparation:

Heat up the oven to 180 C. Wash the baby tomatoes and place them in a roasting dish. Crack fresh salt and black pepper over the top, and pour over a generous serving of good quality olive oil. Add a table spoon of balsamic vinegar, and throw in a sprig of rosemary. Put the tomatoes in the oven when it is up to temperature and cook for twenty minutes.

In the mean time, you can start on the risotto. Put a good lug of olive oil in a sautee pan on the hob, and add your sliced garlic, chopped red onion, and the rest of the rosemary – washed, leaves taken off the stalks and finely chopped. Simmer on the hob for five minutes. Add your sliced chorizo and chicken, and continue to cook for five minutes.

Once the chicken has started to colour and the oils are seeping out of the chorizo, add your rice, frying at a medium temperature for a couple of minutes. Then add the wine, keeping the temperature high enough for the wine to simmer.

Now start adding the chicken stock, a small amount at a time, but keeping the ingredients just covered beneath the stock. You’ll need to cook the rice for about fifteen – twenty minutes. After ten minutes, add the sliced courgette, pushing it into the risotto to ensure it cooks through. At this point, your tomatoes should be done. Take them out of the oven and leave to one side.

When your rice is cooked, it’s important to leave your risotto to rest. Add a knob of butter, and pour in the roasted baby tomatoes, together with the yummy balsamic juice that will be in the pan. Add the grated parmesan, and stir these ingredients through the risotto gently. Cover and leave to rest for a couple of minutes (five).

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2 Responses to Chicken, Chorizo and Rosemary Risotto with Roasted Balsamic Baby Tomatoes

  1. cathincolor says:

    This was such a perfect dinner for a January dinner in Minnesota. Comfort food and good wine.

  2. The Smith's says:

    What do you mean you dont do lug,Nate as in a in a huge lug of wine! So much to learn.
    The roasted tomatos sound fabulous a great combo .I have added to my recipe boxs.

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