Sunday, 16 September 2012

Chicken and Pesto Risotto


Risottos are a great way of using up any bits and bobs you've got hanging around in the fridge. It's also a very satisfying dish to make because it takes a little bit of care and patience, but the results are well worth it. A creamy, comforting meal and it only takes 20 minutes.

The creaminess in a risotto comes from taking the time to look after it. Frequently stirring it breaks down the rice grains, releasing the starch; giving it that oozy texture.

You can take the basics of this risotto and add any flavour you want - I used some leftover roast chicken and some pesto I tend to always have in the fridge. A splash of white wine would also have made a great addition.


Makes 1 large portion or 2 smaller portions

500ml chicken stock
2tbsp olive oil
2 handfuls of risotto rice
1 chicken breast, cooked and roughly chopped
3tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Salt and pepper
1tbsp pesto
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve

First, heat the chicken stock - this will speed up the cooking time. Then, in a large bottomed pan, heat up the oil and add the rice. Allow the rice to cook in the oil for a couple of minutes, starting the process of breaking down the rice grains to release the starch.

Ladle in the the stock a bit at a time, stirring as often as you can - ideally not leaving the stove. When most of the stock has been absorbed, add more stock and keep repeating this process. When it's been cooking for about 15 minutes, start tasting to make sure it doesn't get over cooked. The rice grains should hold a little bit of a bite at the end, al dente, so you may not need all the stock.

A few minutes before you think it's ready, add the chicken, Parmesan and season generously. Serve immediately with a spoonful of pesto and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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