Christmas leftovers – turkey and pea risotto

Turkey and pea risotto

Turkey and pea risotto

As I mentioned in my previous post, I love the leftovers you get from a turkey Christmas dinner. I get real satisfaction from being able to throw some dinner together with things we already have in, without having to go out to the shops. Like the cannelloni in the previous post, this turkey and pea risotto is adapted from a chicken version in Save with Jamie. Again, it’s a good one for all the family.

The best stock for this, if you can, is one made from the carcass of the turkey. This will give you the best flavour. Break up the carcass a bit and squash it into a big casserole dish. Cover with water and bring to the boil. You can add in a few other ingredients like celery, carrot and onion and/or a handful of peppercorns too if you have them – it’ll only add to the flavour. Simmer for at least 30 minutes but longer if you have time. Then pour it through a sieve and into a pan on a low heat.

If you don’t have time to do your own stock, or perhaps you’ve defrosted the turkey a few days later and the carcass is long gone, don’t worry, just make some up with stock cubes and keep it simmering on the hob. If you’re going to be feeding small children though, I’d recommend using the ‘very low salt’ stock.

Once you’ve got your stock ready, gently fry some finely chopped onion in a good glug of olive oil. After a few minutes, when the onion has softened, add 300g arborio risotto rice and stir well for a minute or two to get all the grains coated in oil. Add a ladle of stock to the rice and stir continuously (if you’re not serving this to kids, you can throw in a good splash of white wine before you start with the stock). When the stock has been absorbed, add another ladle full. Continue with this – not forgetting to keep stirring – for about 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked (although it should still have a little bite to it). This should take in the region of 1 – 1.2 litres of stock. Throw in 200g of frozen peas and some leftover turkey just before you add your final ladle full of stock. Once everything is cooked, take off the heat, add a knob of butter, a good grating of Parmesan and season well with salt and pepper (as I was feeding this to Asher, who is 10 months old, I didn’t add salt and pepper at this stage – you can always add it to your bowl when serving instead). Stir well and leave covered for 3-4 minutes.

Turkey and pea risotto cooking

Finally, plate up and top with a little more Parmesan and  a good handful of rocket.


3 thoughts on “Christmas leftovers – turkey and pea risotto

  1. Great rissoto. One thought though is about the use of wine when you’re serving to children. I understand that alchol is lost during cooking so there is no possible detrimental effect from including wine (or beer etc.) in cooking. I know some people may have ethical objections, but I believe the end product of cooking is not alcholic (unless booze is glugged in at the end just for show….and to make it alcholic!). Perhaps someone might have more thoughts on this?


    • Well I’ve read conflicting advice online about that. Most common school of thought seems to be that it actually needs to be cooked on a high temperature for quite a long time for all the alcohol to go but then some disagree. Ultimately, if it’s just a splash it’s probably not an issue anyway. But it’s not an essential ingredient in this dish so I thought I might as well leave it out.


  2. Pingback: Top five cookbooks for feeding a young family | Feeding time at the zoo

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