Chicken, Leek and Spinach Risotto; breakfast

We’ve been having a summer vegetable shortage.

To be honest, I don’t find that surprising and I hadn’t even noticed since we’re still in the middle of winter.

I don’t ever buy summer vegetables; I grow them. If I did buy summer vegetables I would buy them in summer, not in winter. (She says self-righteously and somewhat smugly.) I was not about to let a shortage of zucchini (courgette) bother me in February!

Then I discovered there was no spinach…..

That’s just not right. There should always be spinach.

Yes, I grow spinach, and we eat lots of it during the season, almost always in salads. But I also buy both fresh and frozen spinach during the rest of the year to cook.

Amazing how much more concerned about stuff one gets when one is affected personally.

I’m trying to improve on that…. At least, about the important stuff.

In the meantime, I use frozen spinach

Chicken, Leek and Spinach Risotto

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2/3 cup (4.2oz, 125gr) Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 2 medium leeks, cleaned, sliced, divided 1 1/2 / 1/2
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) dry, white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540ml) chicken stock
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • 1 chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 6oz (180gr) spinach, thawed if frozen, chopped, drained but not squeezed dry
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 2 tsp olive oil


  • Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
  • In medium sauce pan heat butter and oil; add 1/2 leek and sauté until transparent.
  • Add the rice and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute until rice has white center.
  • Add white wine and stir.
  • Start condimenti.
  • When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir.  (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.)
  • When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.
  • Before adding the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice.  They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth, but fully cooked.
  • If more stock is needed add it 1/8 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.
  • At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it’s shape on a plate.
  • Add the Parmesan, condimenti, stir well, spoon into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.
  • Condimenti
  • Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in medium skillet.  Add remaining 1 1/2 leeks and sauté until tender.
  • Add chicken and brown lightly.
  • Add spinach, tarragon, cover and cook over low heat until chicken is cooked through.
  • Turn off heat and keep warm until needed for risotto.

Print Recipe

Yesterday morning, when I let the girls for our morning walk there was a dead pigeon laying about 3 feet from the barn door.

I knew it was dead…. It’s head was gone.

I thought it was freshly killed as it was still bleeding but I tried not to look too closely.

It still had most of it’s feathers although there was a pile of freshly plucked feathers nearby.

Now, for the strange part…. The dogs ignored it. They just gave it a quick sniff and ran off to bark at the bunnies.

We left for our walk.

During the walk I contemplated my dilemma.

I don’t do dead animals but mon mari is still not quite at the point where I felt I could ask him to take care of dead animals. Yet it had to be dealt with…. I couldn’t just leave it there.

I had to deal with the dead bird.

But what to do with it? It had to be disposed of far enough from the house that, when it became more interesting to the dogs, say in a week or so, they wouldn’t run off, find it, and bring it back, forcing me to deal with it again. I thought about putting it in a garbage bag but that would have involved getting really close and, maybe, even touching it.

I pondered this for our entire walk.

When we were almost home I heard a noise in the barn.

Maybe, just maybe, mon mari was in the barn, had noticed the bird and made it disappear.

As we came in the gate a huge bird flew off from in front of the barn, the pigeon firmly clutched in its talons.

Apparently, we had interrupted his breakfast.

Last update on February 22, 2017

5 thoughts on “Chicken, Leek and Spinach Risotto; breakfast”

  1. Ewww about the pigeon! But if you’re ever forced to take care of one again, take the garbage bag, turn it inside out and grab the end. Drop the open end over the…dead thing, then you can grab said dead thing through the bag, fold the bag over it and tie the bag shut. That way, you don’t have to touch said dead thing…

    And this risotto looks amazing! Which is something I thought I would never post next to a paragraph about dead things…


  2. Yay for large bird caretakers!

    I love the sound of this risotto. I will have to remember to get leeks! (What do you do to clean the sand out of leeks? Do you soak them in water before or after cutting them?)

  3. nightsmusic, but I still would have to touch said dead thing through the bag….. I’ll hope for a resurgence in raptors to deal with them all,

    Zoomie, my thoughts exactly.

    Elizabeth, my leeks are always clean…. the French, you know. lol

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