Turkey, bacon and cranberry Arancini with Grana Padano Riserva

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Turkey, bacon and cranberry Arancini with Grana Padano Riserva


. Difficulty: Easy . Serves: 6/8 people . Preparation time: 45 minutes


250g arborio rice
1 white onion, diced
150g leftover cooked turkey (or chicken), finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
150ml white wine
2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped 
80g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
750ml turkey stock
150g Grana Padano Riserva, grated
Olive oil
1 egg, beaten
150g panko breadcrumbs
100g plain flour
500ml vegetable oil for deep frying
3tbsp mayonnaise
1tbsp pesto


Warm the turkey stock in a saucepan on a low heat. In a separate, wide pan, fry the diced onion in olive oil over a medium heat until soft. Add garlic and bacon, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the risotto rice and half of the cranberries and stir to coat every grain of rice in the oil. Add the white wine and stir occasionally until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add the turkey stock, a ladle at a time, and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed before adding another. After 10 minutes, add the remaining cranberries. Once all the stock has been absorbed (after about 15 minutes), check the rice. It should have a bit of bite but not be chalky – if it is, add another ladle of hot water, stir until it is absorbed and check again. Remove from heat and stir in the Grana Padano Riserva until it is all mixed in. Once cool, refrigerate the risotto mixture for at least two hours. 
Once cold, scoop a spoonful of risotto and form it into a ball the size of a golf ball. Repeat until all the risotto is gone – or you can keep half of the mixture in the fridge until it is ready to form into balls as it is easier to handle when cold. Heat oil in a saucepan to 160C – a breadcrumb should bubble within a couple of seconds of being added to it. In three separate bowls, prepare the flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Take a risotto ball, place it in the flour and then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Remove to a plate and rest for five minutes. Repeat until all the risotto balls are all coated. 
Carefully place the coated risotto balls into the hot oil, ensuring you do not overcrowd the pan, and fry for around five minutes until the balls are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel. Repeat the process until all of the coated risotto balls have been fried.
Serve the arancini with grated Grana Padano Riserva and a tomato dipping sauce or, if preferred, a pesto mayonnaise by mixing mayonnaise and pesto together.
Melissa Thompson @fowlmouthsfood