The Key Ingredient: Roasted Pumpkin and PureeThere are two parts of pumpkin that mix into this meal: roasted pumpkin cubes and pumpkin puree. I find the best way to get both is to roast a small to medium pie pumpkin.
You can use part of the pumpkin to cut into squares and mix in at the last minute and add as garnish. You can use the other part of the pumpkin to make the pumpkin puree.
To make pumpkin puree from scratch, simply:Pumpkin puree is one of the easiest things to make. All you have to do is roast pumpkin and then spoon the pumpkin meat into a blender. The full instructions are here. The quick version of it is below.
- Cut a small to medium pie pumpkin in half and remove the seeds
- Coat the exposed flesh with coconut or olive oil
- Roast for 60-70 minutes at 350
- Spoon the pulp into a blender and puree until smooth
Protein: Chicken and BrothThere are two ways to go about this recipe, you can make the chicken bone broth in the process of cooking the chicken, or you can just cook the chicken and use prepared broth.
Making the Bone Broth with the ChickenMaking the broth is relatively easy and takes minimal active time. You can find more details about making bone broth from scratch here, but for this recipe simply:
- cover the chicken drumsticks in cold water and add salt
- simmer for 4-8 hours. This will allow you to cook the chicken while making excellent homemade bone broth!
If you go this route, you can cook the chicken and make the broth ahead of time. Just refrigerate until you are ready to cook the risotto. This can save time when you actually want to prepare the risotto.
For example, if you want to make this pumpkin black rice risotto for dinner for Halloween on Thursday night, you can make the chicken, broth and pumpkin the night before on Wednesday so they are ready for Thursday night.
If you prefer to save the time from making bone broth, you can use prepared chicken broth. In this case, I still recommend boiling the chicken to get a rich and tender texture that will melt in with the risotto.
But you don’t have to make the bone broth from scratch
Cover the chicken in water and salt before you start the risotto. Then let the chicken cook at a low boil while you cook the risotto.
Use Warm Broth with the RisottoRegardless of your method, make sure that you heat the broth before adding to the risotto. A warm broth will absorb better into the rice and improve the texture of the end product.
The risotto itself is made by slowly adding liquids to the rice and letting the starches and liquids simmer together to make a rich and creamy sauce. Many people add cheese, but it is not really necessary in a risotto. The rice has enough starch to make a creamy sauce on its own.
Making the Pumpkin Black Rice Risotto
This risotto calls for black rice instead of the typical arborio used in most risottos. The black rice is to make a festive Halloween meal: orange and black. However, this lotus foods black forbidden rice is also awesome because it is made using sustainable farming practices and helps to raise rice farmers out of poverty across the globe.
For Halloween, the black rice risotto pairs excellently with a nice cab, like the festive All Hallows Eve from California’s Ghost Winery Flora Springs.
In risotto, it will be important not to add all of the liquid at one time. In other words, add it slowly bit by bit. Just as a cookie recipe calls for adding flour a little bit at a time, in risotto you add warm broth cup by cup.
One Cup at a Time
Pumpkin Black Rice Risotto
- 3 chicken drums sticks
- 1 tsp real salt divided
- 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 2 cubes garlic
- 1 cup black rice I used lotus foods forbidden rice
- ½ cup dry white wine I use chardonnay
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp sage
- ½ tsp real salt
- 3-4 grinds of fresh black pepper
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ cup roasted pumpkin cubes divided
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves for garnish optional
The Chicken and Homemade Chicken broth (optional)
- Cover chicken drumsticks in cold water with 1/2 tsp real salt on stove top in medium soup pan
- If you are making the broth, simmer on low heat for 4-8 hours and remove broth, reserving the chicken for the risotto and keeping the broth warm for the risotto. Alternatively, boil for 20 minutes until cooked through.
Pumpkin Black Rice Risotto
- Warm broth at a medium simmer
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. Add onion followed by garlic.
- Add black rice and stir to coat
- Add wine and stir often until the wine cooks off
- Mix in 1 cup of broth and reduce the heat to a low simmer
- Mix in nutmeg, sage, salt and pepper. Let rice mixture cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed or cooked off.
- Add the remaining broth, one cup at a time, until the rice is soft but firm. With each additional cup, wait for the liquid to absorb before adding the next cup
- Shred cooked chicken drumsticks and sauté in separate skillet for about 5 minutes on medium high heat to crisp the edges
- Mix chicken (saving a little bit for garnish), pumpkin puree, and half of the cubed pumpkin into the risotto
- Spoon into bowls and garnish with remaining cubed pumpkin, a little chicken and parsley