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Serves: 4 - 6

Ingredients

10g (½ oz) dried wild mushrooms
olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 rashers streaky bacon, snipped into strips
300 g (11oz) Orzo
1 litre (1¾ pts) chicken stock (or 2 cubes)
salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp cream
255 – 340 g (9 –12 oz) cooked chicken or turkey, torn into pieces
A good handful of kale or cavolo nero leaves, finely shredded, or several handfuls of spinach
150 g (5 oz) Vacherin, Taleggio or Pié D’Angloys cheese, more if you like

Chicken (or Turkey), Bacon, Wild Mushroom and Kale Orzo 'Risotto'

Luscious leftovers! This is very creamy, yet with the addition of hardly any cream. Quick and easy to make, enjoy it as-is risotto-style, or make several days in advance and transform it into a gratin. See Hints & Tips below.

Method

1.Snip the mushrooms into small pieces, put into a ramekin or small bowl and barely cover with warm water from the kettle. Set aside to re-hydrate for around 20 minutes.
2.Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook until softened. Add the bacon and cook for another few minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid, add to the pan and cook for another minute. Add the Orzo and stir until coated in the oil.
3.Add the stock and the mushroom liquor, carefully leaving the gritty sediment behind in the ramekin, and bring up to the boil. Check the seasoning and simmer for 9 minutes. Stir in the chicken, or turkey, and the cream, followed by the kale or spinach, adding it in batches as it wilts. The mixture will be sloppy. Leave to stand for a few minutes before eating, during which time it will thicken up.
4.Spoon into individual bowls and dot blobs of your chosen creamy cheese over the top of the Orzo. It will start oozing and melting immediately. Serve with a green salad.  

Get-Ahead
•Make to the end of Step 2 up to 2 days in advance. Cover and keep in the fridge until required.

Hints & Tips
•6 chicken thighs yield approximately 340 g (12 oz) chicken off the bone.
•Use this recipe simply as a guide and add whatever you have to hand, instead of, or as well as the above ingredients - ham or other meat leftovers, celery, peppers, fresh mushrooms, squash, herbs etc. Leave out the meat for a delicious vegetarian main course.
•Eat this risotto style, as above, or make into a gratin - put into a shallow ovenproof dish, scatter with cheese and cook in the oven until golden brown and bubbling. This can be done up to 3 days in advance, but don’t do the final cooking until required. Eat lukewarm – not piping hot!

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Reviews

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Posted By: Oriel Rogers-Coltman

Saturday 14th January 2017

What is Orzo?? Will I find it in deepest Shropshire?!

Reply Posted By: Jane Lovett

Monday 16th January 2017

Orzo is pasta, the size and shape of rice. Yes, you should be able to find it easily. It's readily available in large supermarkets, delis, farm shops etc. Or you could order it online.

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