Friday 13 March 2015

Chicken, Bacon & Sweet Potato Risotto

This risotto is insanely good and packed with flavour...

Roasting the sweet potato in paprika gives the risotto a much deeper flavour than if you were to boil it.

(Serves 4)

4 small chicken breasts
300g Arborio rice 
1 litre boiling vegetable stock
6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped  
1 red onion, peeled & diced 
750g sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces 
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika 
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped  
1/2 tsp chilli powder 
1 tbsp parmesan, plus extra for serving 
1 handful walnut pieces, bashed in a pestle & mortar 

Preheat the oven to 220c. Toss the cubed sweet potato in a little oil, the oregano, salt and paprika and bake in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes until cooked through, tossing regularly. Once cooked, transfer to a bowl and mash with a potato masher.

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large non-stick pan and add the bacon. Cook on a medium to high heat until golden and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onions to the pan and gently fry in the bacon fat until softened. Add the rice and stir so each grain is coated in the bacon fat.

Next add a ladle of the stock to the pan and stir constantly until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Then, add another ladle and stir until absorbed again and repeat this until all the stock has been used and the rice is soft. This should take about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, sprinkle the chicken breasts with a little salt and heat a little oil in a small frying pan. Pan fry for 10 - 12 minutes until golden and juicy and completely cooked through.

With the penultimate ladle full of stock, add the mashed sweet potato, rosemary and the cooked bacon and stir until all the sweet potato is combined with the rice.

After the last ladle of stock, stir in a tablespoon of parmesan and a small pinch of salt, if desired (it can be salty enough with the bacon and stock).

Divide the risotto between four bowls, slice the chicken breasts and place on top of the risotto and serve sprinkled with the extra parmesan, extra parsley and walnut pieces.



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