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Saturday, 16 July 2011

Honey Roasted Pumpkin and Lemon Chicken Pearl Barley Risotto

Noice, and less effort than normal risotto. The pumpkin ended up mushing itself all through the whole shebang.

1/4 pumpkin skinned in 1cm dice
1/2 tbs honey
1 chicken breast
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Some Rosemary stripped
1/2 head of broccoli in small florets
1 stick of celery in small dice (reserve the woody end)
1 1/2 cups pearl barley
1/2 an onion in small dice
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup white wine (optional)
1 litre of stock
1 knob of butter
Pecorino or Parmesan
1/2 handful of parsley chopped
2 slices bacon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Lemon for serving

Add the diced pumpkin to a large mixing bowl, add some olive oil and the honey and toss to combine. Place  in a single layer on a lined baking tray and roast in a pre-heated 200C oven for about 30 mins or until they have taken on some colour. Remove when ready.
With a large sharp knife, slice the chicken breast horizontally into three slices of even thickness . Combine the chicken breast with the lemon zest, lemon juice, some olive oil, pepper and rosemary and set aside for ten minutes while you prepare the rest.
Heat the stock in a small saucepan and add in the woody celery bit.
Fry the bacon over medium high in a large heavy based saucepan until mostly crispy then remove to a warm place (I use the grill with the door closed and not on). Cook the chicken in the same pan until just cooked then remove to a warm place. Reduce the heat and saute the onion, celery and garlic until translucent. Add the pearl barley to the pan tossing to coat and removing any sediment from the bottom. Add the wine if using and allow to absorb. Add in about half of the stock and simmer, adding more as it is almost absorbed. Stir occasionally.
While this happening, dice 2 of the slices of chicken and slice the other piece into strips. Chop all of the bacon.
From the time you add the stock it should take about 25 mins to cook, test grains of the barley occasionally after about twenty minutes. A couple of minutes before you think it is ready, add the broccoli florets. When you think it is almost ready add in the last laddleful of stock, as much Parmesan as you like, the butter, parsley, diced chicken, bacon and pumpkin and stir to combine. Add the lid, turn off the heat and allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
Serve in warmed bowls topped with sliced chicken and a squeeze of lemon.

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