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Chicken Risotto

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Serves: 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
80z / 225g chicken breast, skinned, boned and cut into 2.5cm / 1in cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1.5ml / 1/4 tsp saffron strands
50g / 2oz / 1/2 cup Parma ham, cut into thin strips
450g / 1lb / 2 cups risotto rice, preferably Arborio
120ml / 4fl oz / 1/2 cup dry white wine
1.75litres / 3 pints / 7 1/2 cups simmering chicken stock
25g / 1oz / 2 tbsp butter (optional)
25g / 1oz / 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a wide heavy based pan over moderately high heat. Add the chicken cubes and cook, stirring, until they start to turn white.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the onion, garlic, saffron and Parma ham. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft. Stir in the risotto rice and mix well. Saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the wine and bring to the boil. Simmer gently until almost all the wine is absorbed.

Add the simmering stock, a ladleful at a time, and cook until the rice is just tender and the risotto creamy.

Add the butter, if using, and Parmesan cheese and stir in well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the risotto hot, sprinkled with more Parmesan.

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