Chicken, bacon and leek risotto cakes (deep-fried)

Breadcrumbs? Seriously?! That’s going to grab tens of thousands of peoples attention. But then, who do I write this for. I’ve said it before, this is used as a vehicle to push my photos. Shame said photos usually push me – around. However, chances are I wouldn’t take the photos otherwise. So a post about breadcrumbs it is.

This is a new thing for me, almost. And I’m excited about it as I’ve always loved the idea of biting into something crunchy on the outside. And regardless of how unhealthy deep-frying is the occasional time is heavenly. Not that I’m going to be breading and deep-frying Mars bars. Yet! Fish cakes, risotto cakes and even something as naff-as-you-want-them-to-be Scotch eggs have always been relegated to eat&suffer. To the extent I assumed I was intolerant to wheat. Not any more. Ever since I’ve been on this baking lark I can stuff my face with as much bread, pastry and cakes/desserts/biscuits (cookies) as I can get my hands well floured. Deep-fried breaded Brie? Nah! Think I’ll stuff this bread with Camembert and bacon instead.

Photo above left: Chicken, bacon and leeks orzotto/risotto & photo right: Walnut, yoghurt and olive oil bread.

I’ve even organised my kitchen to be able to do so. Hah! Bake breads and stuff, that is. But home-made pasta still alludes me. Maybe that next. If and when a recipe that I was making in the past called for breadcrumbs I always used to toast a couple of slices of shop-bought bread and, when cool enough, whizz them in a coffee grinder I had for that purpose. Hmm, not so organised these days. These breadcrumbs were made by hand. And one of the simplest, almost cathartic, things to do. And the only reason I ended up going this route was purely as I really fancied risotto last week. Of course, orzotto made with pearl barley is usually a better choice for me as I can easily reheat it the next day as, unlike risotto, orzotto doesn’t spoil. As one of the local stores have Aborio rice as a weekly special I had to stock up. Knowing I was going to have to make cakes the following day. Hence the reason breadcrumbs were needed in the first place. And I couldn’t quite believe I hadn’t thought of it before. Especially as this new walnut and yoghurt/olive oil bread is fast turning out to be a favourite. And it’s an excellent choice for these crumbs. Huh, deep-fried breaded chicken…you’re killing me!

These breadcrumbs were for risotto cakes (existing post to be updated). Not arancini, and not by a long shot. Arancini by all accounts are ragù (something I’ve never made before) and peas covered in aborio, or risotto rice, breaded and deep-fried. Thank you to polianthus who gave me this video link for arancini recently. It’s dubbed in English, btw. Besides, I know little about Italian cuisine. And I’ve never eaten arancini whilst there. As I never normally eat anything with minced (ground) meat, unless I make it. That’s another story another time! Breaded mushrooms – who on earth would bother. Besides, isn’t that terribly 70’s?!

I was humming and hawing over whether or not to go with this particular post as I’m guessing a lot of people would reach for packets of ready-made breadcrumbs. That’s fine by me as it’s your sups and I won’t be eating it! And I’ll eat before I arrive, if and when invited for food at your place. But then I remembered an excellent post by Chef Mimi on Bread Crumbs, and I figured, why not. It may only be of something of importance for me right now. As in finding I can cook and eat breaded food – chops? think I’ll stick with Schnitzel – for the first time. Well, it’s exciting for me. I could eat home-made scampi if I wanted to. But then again, who would want to.

Breadcrumbs, for breading risotto cakes and stuff...

  • Servings: Makes enough breadcrumbs for about 6 medium (gold ball size) risotto cakes
  • Print


Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • Simple enough. Put a heavy-based saucepan (Dutch oven) on lowest heat, as in electric No 1 (out of 6), and crumble in the bread. It doesn’t matter how sizeable the chunks are at this stage. As the bread gets a chance of drying out it’s then easy enough to keep crumbling the chunks into ever smaller bits. Until you get breadcrumbs. They do need to be stirred through occasionally as otherwise scorching may happen. If it does you’ll have to start again. Time wise it can take about 30 minutes or longer to get the consistency and dryness needed for breadcrumbs.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Flours n Dainty Buns:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn



  1. Always a delight to read your posts Johnny – brings a smile to my face every time! Those deep-fried risotto cakes looks so delicious, can just imagine biting through that crispy exterior. Nothing wrong at all with a little deep-frying occasionally… although I did find the idea of ‘Deep-fried Butter’ at our local State Fair, when living in the USA, a tad disconcerting! 😧

  2. JOHNNY!!! So happy to see you. Have missed you. Always make my breadcrumbs and keep bags in the freezer. The rice balls look so good and sound absolutely delicious!! Must try this recipe. ❤️❤️

    • Hi, how nice to hear from you. Can’t believe you found this, as I had to republish this as it’s linked to a post on Feed the Piglet – which I’m in the process of editing. As in keeping my favourites only.

      I do see your posts on Twitter and Insta, neither I bother to post to! But I do like to check them every other.
      Hoping you’re well and staying safe. New York I’m hoping is calming down.

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