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Percy Pumpkin Soup, 33p a portion
Smoked mackerel & creamy soft cheese on granary toast, 63p. Plus, how to stay on budget for the day

This is a long delayed recipe from the Rubber Chicken series for a chicken and pea risotto.

The chicken is priced as per the original post, so a total of 654g of chicken meat divided by the £4.99 cost of the whole chicken, disregarding anything from the stock completely. I actually used half a chicken breast, weighing out the 90g allocated.

90g chicken, 69pimage
120g arborio risotto rice, Asda £1.50/500g, 36p
An onion, 5p
A knob of butter, 20g, £1/250g, 8p
100g frozen peas, £1/kg, 10p
30g Grana Padano, grated, Asda £2.50/200g 37p
1 litre stock, I used a chicken stock cube. Asda value are 3p
Total price £1.68
Serves 2, 84p a portion

Melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped onion. Sauté until transparent. Add the rice and stir around until that too is translucent.

Meanwhile, boil the kettle. Now, add the stock cube and a ladleful of hot water. Stir every minute or so until the water is more or less absorbed. The stirring helps to release the starch from the rice and give it that lovely creamy texture.

Keep adding the hot water and stirring until the rice is almost cooked. Risotto needs to be very moist, not dry like a rice accompaniment. So leave enough moisture in there.

When the rice is almost cooked, add the peas and cook for a minute or two.

If you are using leftover chicken, stir it in now. If you are using fresh chicken like I did, cook it in a frying pan first to give it a bit more texture than boiled chicken. Add the chicken to the risotto.

Stir in half the cheese. Serve immediately with the remaining cheese sprinkled over the top.

We had ours with 100g white cabbage each.

This amount was just right for two. I could easily have used the whole chicken breast and thought nothing of it, but the measured 90g was just fine.

If I had had any, proper home made chicken stock would have given a big punch of flavour, or if you were stretching your chicken, you may have some home made gravy still in the fridge. That would be great here.

This is another recipe that uses up most of our £1 a day budget, so to stay in budget, you would need to deploy the tactics described in earlier posts. I.e. Take £2 for two days, and choose the more inexpensive options for the remaining meals. Doable, with a little planning

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Percy Pumpkin Soup, 33p a portion
Smoked mackerel & creamy soft cheese on granary toast, 63p. Plus, how to stay on budget for the day