As I’ve mentioned before my other half has post infection IBS. What this means is he has some severe intolerances to foods that are high in fructose. This means he can experience some really nasty side effects such as, body cramps, migraines, poor sleep, weight gain, weight loss, brain fog, mood changes, and the list just goes on. Many people have IBS to a degree, and they might not even realise. If you personally have found yourself reacting after eating onions and garlic, then there’s a good chance that you may have a level of IBS. Fructose can be very hard on the guts!
This means I have to adjust all the recipes we cook to make sure they work for IBS. It’s a challenge and you need to plan in advance, but it does mean that we eat a lot healthier! Mainly because things like takeaways are not an option. I wanted to share a recipe with you all, one of our absolute favourites – and the very first “proper” risotto I’ve ever made.
This risotto is originally from Dish magazine (in NZ). We get the Dish magazine with our Flyby points. It is one of our favourite things to receive every couple of months. All of the recipes it has need to be adjusted. But that’s normal with IBS. It’s something you just have to get used to, so this is my version of the recipe adjusted for IBS.
It makes an enormous amount, like six servings plus so is a great recipe for a big family. We also find it freezes nicely and reheats well, although if you’re a risotto purist you won’t agree with me and you’ll be horrified at the stickiness of it. I’m one of those people who loves sticky, solid, good food. I love porridge, I love rice pudding, and I love my home-made risotto. If you do try out this recipe, let me know how it goes and let me know if you like it! I would really love to hear.
Chicken and Leek Risotto
- 4 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
- 30 grams butter
- 150 grams finely chopped pancetta (though I have used 100grams with little noticeable difference)
- 850 grams boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- sea salt and ground pepper
- 1 or 2 bunches of spring onions chopped finely – use the green part (dark, not light) only
- 1 or 2 leeks chopped finely – green part only
- 2 celery sticks chopped finely
- 21/4 cups Arborio rice
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves
- 7-8 cups chicken stock – Massels make stock cubes with no added garlic or onion (Massels 7’s)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 35 grams butter
- 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
100 grams of Taleggio or other soft rind cheese
Heat the garlic oil and butter in a large wide saute pan – one with high sides is good – and add the pancetta. This is when everyone in the house will suddenly notice you’re cooking – it smells divine! Cook the pancetta for 2-3 minutes then add the chicken and cook for five minutes (no, it won’t be fully cooked, don’t worry). Remove the chicken pieces and pop in a bowl, leaving the pancetta in the pan.
Place the stock in a large pot and on a very low element so it’s heating slowly as you cook.
Add the spring onion, leek and celery to the pan with the pancetta and cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat. It will reduce in size a bit, don’t panic, but this is why you want the high sided wide saute pan. You can add another drizzle of garlic oil at this stage if you like (I usually do). After the 10 minutes add salt and pepper then the rice. Cook it for 3-4 minutes then sprinkle the thyme in, and pour the wine in. Stir, and once the wine is almost all absorbed begin adding the stock. Pour in a couple of ladles of stock and stir. This is the long and time consuming part – it will take a good 20-30 mins. Put the timer on for 20 mins, and just keep stirring! As soon as the stock appears to have almost absorbed, add more stock. You do NOT want this risotto to dry out, it is meant to be a bit wet. Once the 20 mins is up (and most your stock will be in the risotto) add the chicken back in (drain off the liquid first). Cook for another five minutes then taste test the risotto – the rice should have a very slight bite. But, if you find it’s a tad mushy, don’t panic, mine was the first time too and it still tasted great. After the final five minutes remove the pan from the heat and stir through the parmesan, butter, and parsley.
Ladle into bowls and top with skinny slices of the cheese. It was the first time trying Taleggio for us, and now it’s a firm favourite.
If you’re going to freeze the leftovers, this is a very dense risotto and does take a while to cool down. I usually segment it out into Glad ziplock bags then leave those to cool on the bench before popping them into the freezer. I reheat the risotto in a good non-stick pan (has to be good, otherwise it STICKS) and top with the cheese – YUM!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and remember to let me know if you do try it!