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Chicken and Vegetable Risotto

I love a meal that has everything in it, vegetables, protein and carbohydrates all in one (saves having to think about all the extra bits to your meal).  This risotto is flavoursome, easy to make and packs in plenty of vegetables.  You can chop and change the vegetables for what you like, for example, peas or asparagus (if in season).  You could also use seafood in place of chicken.

Arborio rice is the traditional rice for a risotto, however as a cheaper alternative, buy a packet of medium grain rice and it works just as well.  

 

Ingredients

Olive oil for cooking

1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets

1 courgette or 200g green beans, cut into 2cm pieces

2 rashers of bacon (optional)

1 chicken breast, cut into 2cm pieces

½ onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon thyme or rosemary leaves, chopped

10 button mushrooms, roughly chopped 

1 cup Arborio rice

½ cup white wine

3 cups of reduced salt chicken stock, plus more if needed

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus extra to serve, if desired)

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Method: 

  • Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, once boiling, add the broccoli and courgettes (or beans if using) and cook for 1 minute (this is called blanching).  Remove from the heat, drain and refresh with cold water, drain and leave to stand until needed later.  
  • While the water is coming to a boil, finely slice the bacon and cook to make it crispy, set aside on paper towels to absorb excess fat.
  • Add a small amount of olive oil to a pan over a medium-high heat and cook the chicken until brown and cooked through, set aside in a bowl.  
  • In the same pan that the chicken was cooked in, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is very soft, add the chopped herbs and mushroom and cook for another 2 minutes.  
  • Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, you want to make sure the rice is coated in oil (you may need to add some more olive oil at this point).  
  • Increase the heat and add the wine, stirring.  It should bubble, cook for about 30 seconds-1 minute until all of the liquid has evaporated.  Reduce the heat back to medium.  
  • Add stock slowly, about ½ to 1 cup at a time and stir until the liquid is absorbed into the rice.  Keep repeating this process until you’ve used all of the stock.
  • The risotto is done when the rice is tender.  You may need to add more stock if the rice is still firm. 
  • Add the chicken, bacon and vegetables to the pan and stir through, adding more stock if needed.  
  • Stir through the parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper.   
  • Serve in bowls, extra parmesan can be added, if desired.  

 

Recipe serves 4

 

- Sarah




 

Risotto recipe