from one generation to the next
The eighties, nineties and noughties was a time of great change in the average Aussie kitchen. Evening family meals morphed from meat and potato plus two veg, a legacy of our English heritage, into dishes heavily influenced by “new” Australians from Mediterranean and Asian cultures.
Inspired by a recipe published in the now defunct “Epicurean” magazine, this was one of the very first risotto combos I ever cooked. Arborio rice was exotic then and I had to travel a great distance to buy it in Melbourne’s “Little Italy.” Today there are specialty rices in every supermarket.
Leah recently reminded me of this dish, so I revisited it after many years of cooking risotto ad lib. It is still good, rich as only risotto can be but with a wonderful limey zing. Enjoy with a side of leafy salad and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Chicken & Lime Risotto (serves4)
1 onion, diced
2 stick of celery peeled and sliced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
250g arborio or canaroli rice,
125ml white wine
500ml hot chicken stock,
Few strands saffron, soaked in 125ml hot stock for 5 minutes
Juice and zest 1 lime
2 Thinly sliced chicken fillets
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon thyme
2 tsp French mustard
1/4 cup flakes almonds, toasted
30 g grated Parmesan cheese
Lightly sauté the chicken in olive oil. Remove from the pan and set aside. Sauté the celery and onion until translucent. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat in oil. Saute until lightly browned then add the wine, the saffron with its stock, the lime and the garlic plus an extra ladle full of hot stock. Return to the pot to the boil, reduce the heat to a high simmer, then stirring frequently, continue adding hot stock as it is absorbed. When the rice is al dente, the only real test is to taste, add the chicken, spinach, thyme and mustard. Gently bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat, stir in the almonds and cheese, season to taste with black pepper and sea salt. Serve immediately.