Every Sunday I prep a huge pan/tray of food for packed lunches in the week; some favourites include chilli con carne, cajun chicken and rice and turkey/chicken sausages and veg. This morning the fridge was a wasteland so I really had to improvise. All we had was a big bag of bell peppers, cube of butter, soft cheese, sweet chilli sauce and some dregs of OJ. Don’t worry I’m not going to hoy all of these into a pan and take it for lunch this week.
I defrosted a bag of chicken breast (a must-have in our household) and chopped up the peppers, chucked them in with some tomatoes, spices and arborio rice and this is what I came up with.
Chilli Chicken Risotto – Makes 5/6 portions
What you’ll need:
- 700g frozen chicken breast
- 3 chopped bell peppers
- 1 veg stock cube (I use Kallo as it’s gluten free)
- 1/2 chopped red onion (which I didn’t have)
- 350g arborio rice
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
- Salt and pepper
Note: all measurements are approximate, I tend to just chuck stuff in without measuring,
How to make it
Step 1. Turn the oven on 180 degrees (I have an electric fan-heated oven, so adjust as necessary).
Step 2. Spread the chicken out on a plate and chuck it on the microwave on defrost until, you guessed it, defrosted.
Step 3. While the chicken is defrosting, boil the kettle and make a stock with the kallo cube and 1.25 litre of water.
Step 4. Heat up a large pan with a drop of virgin olive oil, use this time to chop up your onion and peppers. When the pan is hot, add the onion and cook until translucent (if it goes brown then turn down the heat).
Step 5. Chop up the chicken into chunks and put in the pan with all the spices/herbs/seasoning. Also add the sugar (this will remove any bitterness from the toms). Stir the mix with a wooden spoon until the chicken is evenly coated in the spices. Leave this on the heat for 5/10 minutes until the chicken starts to go white, don’t worry about cooking to through at this time as we’re going to put it in the oven.
Step 6. Add the stock, chopped tomatoes, bell peppers and any other veg you fancy. Stir the mix through and pour in the uncooked arborio rice. Put the lid on the pan and put it in the oven. (Note: I have a pan that can be used on the hob and in the oven, if you’re not as fortunate as me then you’ll want to transfer the mix into an oven proof container).
Step 7. Cook for 45 min – 1 hour, stir around half an hour in to check the rice isn’t sticking to the bottom.
Step 8. Remove from oven and either serve or spoon into your tupperwares for the week ahead. Wait until fully cooled before putting in the fridge.
We generally eat these meals for the next two/three days, depending on portion size. This meal is great made with mince beef instead of chicken – a real cheap feast that’ll last all week.