This was unexpectedly a really amazing meal! All I did was use leftover bits and pieces I had in the fridge/freezer. Looked great with so many different colours in amongst the rice too.
I call it a cheat’s risotto, because a) I didn’t use arborio rice and b) I used a rice cooker. The only rice I typically keep in the pantry is Jasmine, because it’s one of the least starchy rice varieties, so great for general use. After the success of this dish though, I’ll definitely be getting some arborio next time I’m at the supermarket.
And, finally, photos!
Ingredients (4 serves):
- 200g Jasmine rice
- 1 x chicken breast
- handful of diced bacon
- quarter piece of pumpkin
- 1 x spring onion (green part)
- fresh or dried thyme
- 2 cubes chicken stock
- ground cumin
- feta (Danish/Australian style, not Greek style)
- fresh cracked salt and pepper
- olive oil
First step, chop the pumpkin into approx 2cm cubes. Put the cubes in a large mixing bowl with a generous dash of olive oil, some shakes of dried thyme (or some chopped fresh stuff), a few shakes of cumin and some fresh cracked salt and pepper. Shake the bowl until everything covers the pumpkin evenly. Slide the pumpkin on to a baking tray lined with baking paper and pop it in the oven on 200°c.
While the pumpkin is cooking (it should take about 20-30 mins, but it’s easier to tell by pricking it with a fork to make sure it’s soft enough), we’ll put the rice on to cook! Boil some water in the kettle. Get a plastic container and put in the two stock cubes, a few shakes of cumin and thyme. Put two cups of boiled water into the container and use a fork to break up the stock cube. Put the rice and the liquid stock in a rice cooker.
Dice up the spring onion and the chicken. Have the diced bacon ready. Get a large frying pan ready on med-high heat and heat up about a tsp or two of olive oil. Cook the chicken until it turns colour, then put in the diced bacon. Once everything starts turning brown, chuck in the spring onion, turn the heat to low and let it sautee for a bit.
Once the rice is cooked, pour it into the frying pan and gently mix everything together. Chop up the basil and parsley (use however much you like – I used about 3 tbsp worth of basil and 1 tbsp of parsley. Sprinkle over the rice mixture and combine gently. Crack over some salt and pepper to taste.
Once the pumpkin is cooked, spoon into the rice mixture and combine gently to make sure the pumpkin doesn’t break up. Break up about a 5cm x 2cm piece of feta and crumble over the rice. Mix gently.
And yer DONE! Put in a serving bowl and sprinkle some parmesan over the top. Marvel at how pretty it is.