Chicken and Mushroom Arancini with Apple and Parmesan salad

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This was the best dinner I have made in a long time, I wanted to make something special while my mum is staying with us and I absolutely love arancini and am forever ordering it in restaurants but hadn’t yet figured out how to make it myself and make it healthier.

I really just made this recipe up as I was going and luckily it turned out perfectly, It is quite a fiddly recipe but well worth the effort, I highly recommend making this for your next dinner party.

We saved half the risotto for the twins lunches and made a few smaller arancini balls for finger food over the next few days.

What you’ll need

For the Stock (I make my own but to save time you can also use store bought chicken stock)
3 chicken breasts
1 carrot roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped in half
1 tsp peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 springs of thyme
4 springs of flat leaf parsley
4 celery heads
6 cups of water

For the Risotto

3 chicken breasts – shredded
1 brown onion
1 crushed garlic clove
3 springs of thyme
6 springs of flat leaf parsley
6 button mushrooms
100grams of semi sun dried tomatoes
1 cup spinach
1/2 a zucchini grated
1 1/2 cups of brown rice
1/4 cup of tasty cheese
1 litre of chicken stock

For the arancini

2 eggs
1 tsp pesto for each ball (approx. 1/2 a cup)
Parmasen cheese
2 slices of day old wholemeal bread
2 tbsp quinoa
1 tbsp chia seeds

For the arancini sauce

3 Tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp pesto
Salt and pepper

For the Salad

1 apple
1/3 cut of walnuts
1 cup spinach leaves
3 spring onions
1/4 cup grated parmasen

Salad dressing

1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp flaxseed oil

How to

– To make the stock, add everything into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hours or until chicken is soft enough to pull apart with a fork
– Remove the chicken and put in a bowl and pull apart, set aside in a bowl
– Drain the stock through a sieve into a bowl, set liquid aside and discard herbs and veggies
– In a large non stick sauce pan heat garlic with some olive oil and brown onion until onion is soft
– Add chopped semi tomatoes, herbs, mushrooms and chicken and mix
– Add brown rice and 3/4 of the stock, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes mixing and adding more stock if needed
– Add the remainder of the stock, grated zucchini and spinach and mix
– Keep cooking until the rice is soft (add more stock or water if needed)
– Add the cheese at the end and set aside to cool
– Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C
– In a blender add the brown bread, chia seeds and quinoa and put on a plate
– In a bowl whisk 2 eggs and set aside
– Once the risotto is cool enough, scoop 1 heaped dessert spoon of risotto, in the middle add 1 tsp pesto and 1 1cm chunk of parmesan, add another heaped scoop of risotto and put on top so pesto and parmesan is in the middle
– Brush the ball with some of the egg then place into the crumbs covering completely and place them on a baking tray – repeat until you have as many balls as you need (I set aside some risotto for the twins lunch tomorrow)
– Put in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top
– Mix the arancini sauce ingredients together and set aside until ready to serve
– To make the salad core and thinly slice the apple, roughly chop walnuts and spring onions, add in a salad bowl with spinach and grated parmesan
– Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad
– Serve arancini balls hot topped with sauce and a side of salad – Enjoy!

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