Cooking Classes


Oat Risotto with Fiddleheads and Tender Garlic Chicken Wings

I have been pondering how to cook the oats that my friends Greg and Jerry gave me and I am finally gathering the courage to try a few things.  A risotto seems like a natural for a grain.  Oats are so healthy and hearty.  A small serving is sufficient.

I also found a Scottish recipe for a skirlie.  It is very similar to a risotto but...uses rolled oats and there is no cheese.  So, I think the risotto will be more to our taste.

They cook a lot like wild rice but don't open up as much.  I think a mixture of oat with wild rice would be nice.  I would suggest using them like one would use brown rice.

This is a spring risotto and served with chicken wings from a wonderful Hutterite chicken.  When I was young and working at KFC to pay my way through university, my boss would always say "The wings are the dessert.  That is why they are on the bottom of the bucket.  Save the sweetest for last."   It took me years before I agreed with him.   Everyone thinks that wings have to be finger food.  This will change your mind on that.

Oat Risotto with Fiddleheads and Tender Garlic Chicken Wings

1/2 cup of oat grain
2 tablespoons shallots, finely diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 - 2 cups of chicken broth
2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of fiddleheads

Saute the shallots in butter.  Add the oat grains and toast.  Add the chicken broth a half a cup at a time and cook the oat grains over medium low heat until tender but still chewy.  This will take about 45 mintues.   Stir in the steamed fiddleheads and grated cheese.

These could also be served in a cazuela.  Or place a scoop of the oat risotto on a dinner plate and serve with 2 chicken wing pieces and garnish.

Garlic Chicken Wings
  • 12 chicken wings, tips removed
  • Sweet paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed, plus 2 cloves, minced
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup fino or manzanilla sherry
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Rub the chicken with paprika, salt, and pepper and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour or preferably in the refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight. 

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the crushed garlic and cook, stirring, until softened but not colored, 2 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and fry, turning as needed, until golden on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes. You want them nicely colored on the outside but not cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly, and then arrange the pieces in a cazuela or baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. 

Remove the crushed garlic from the oil and discard. Return the pan to low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook briefly. Add the thyme, bay leaves, sherry, and broth, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the chicken. 

Bake the chicken until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the bay leaves and thyme. If the pan juices are thin, transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium high heat until reduced, and then return to the cazuela. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve at once.


  1. Oh last time I had fiddleheads was in France! I love those and oats are a great alternative to rice! Lovely dish combo!

  2. This looks very interesting and full of flavor. I made some mixed grains tonight and my husband said it wasn't all that flavorful! I really need to try this instead!

  3. Wings continue to grow in popularity..

  4. I would never had thought to use oats in a risotto but it does make sense.

    I'm a wing freak and these look awesome.

  5. I've heard of fiddleheads, but never had them. Love the chicken wings; sometimes messy food is the best.

  6. This is a very inventive recipe. Inspirational stuff. Love the use of the fiddleheads. The chicken looks great.


  7. They kind of look like rice, don't they? I have never tried anything so adventurous with oats... I make oatmeal and sometimes stick a little in my piecrust...but this? WHOa. I think it sounds delicious but I am unfamiliar with this type... must investigate... the wings are sensation... both on my list for the weekend!

  8. The oats look very interesting and you almost sold me on the chicken wings! I'm still hung up on the mess and don't eat them often but this does sound delicious.

  9. Is this the same as Steel cut oats? I used to eat this all the time, then that phase in my life passed and went back to my regular oatmeal. Very creative;but I think I would have a hard time replace this for risotto.


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