Smoked Haddock Risotto with Parmesan and Chives

Sublime comfort food. It can be made in stages.

Serves 4
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 40 min

750g un-dyed, naturally smoked haddock fillet
1 bay leaf
1 litre cold water
50g butter
1 small onion
250g risotto rice
300ml dry white wine
½ tbsp smooth Dijon mustard
4 tbsp finely grated Parmesan plus extra to serve
1 heaped tbsp clotted cream
2 tbsp freshly snipped chives

Place the fish, skin-side down, in a suitable pan that can accommodate it in a single layer. Add the bay leaf, water and 20g of the butter. Bring the water to the boil then turn the heat down slightly so that it simmers and the fish cooks gently for about 5 minutes, then carefully turn. Cook for a further 5 minutes until just cooked through. Turn off the heat, use fork and knife to ease off the skin. Lift the fish onto a plate to cool. Discard the bay leaf and pour the liquid into a saucepan and keep just below boiling. Peel, halve and finely chop the onion. Melt the remaining butter in a wide-based pan with a capacity of at least 2 litres. Stir in the onion and cook gently for about 8 minutes until wilted. Meanwhile, flake the fish off the bones in bite-sized chunks. Stir the unwashed rice into the onion and cook for a couple of minutes until all grains are covered with butter. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the mustard and then add a ladleful of the hot fish water. Cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until absorbed into the rice, continue thus until all the liquid is used up and the rice is creamy but still retains a bite at the centre. Stir the creme fraiche and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan into the risotto and then the flaked fish and any juices. Cover the pan, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, give a final stir, dredge with Parmesan and garnish with the chives. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan.