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Wednesday 16 June 2010

Sluttishly Savoury: Creamy Chicken Risotto

I warn you now, this is not risotto for the purists due to me doing terrible things like putting cream and cheese in but it is one of my favourite meals. Very filling, very comforting and very yummy. It takes a bit of effort but the end result is worth it.

I also warn you that the measurements are a guide. I very rarely weigh things out when I cook regular dinner, a result of learning at the apron strings of Momma Shoes who's very much a 'throw it in and see what happens' kind of cook. If you follow the ones below, you'll end up with enough to feed an army. Well at least 4-6 of you.

You'll need:
  • 200g chicken
  • 400g arborio rice
  • 200g sliced mushrooms
  • 2 pints stock plus up to 1 extra pint of hot water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Basil
  • Pepper
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (or, if you're like me, 1-2 teaspoons of lazy garlic!)
  • 130g cheese
  • 50ml double cream

Make it!
  • Cut the chicken into small, bite sized pieces and gently brown in a sauté pan or a deep frying pan with the garlic. Once the chicken has browned, add the mushrooms and cook until they're just starting to go brown. At this point add the rice and stir until all the juices have been soaked up.
  • Add 1 pint of stock, lemon juice, basil and pepper and stir (did I mention there's a lot of stirring? Sorry!) before covering and leaving on the lowest heat to simmer for a few minutes. While it's simmering, pour yourself a nice glass of wine of other beverage of your choice.
  • Give it another stir and add more stock if needed - you'll probably need another 1/4 pint at this stage. Stir it some more and then cover and leave to simmer for a few more minutes.
  • Been able to resist the smells yet? Of course not. Give it a stir (apparently it's the stirring that activates whatever it is in the rice that makes it go creamy) and add the rest of the stock. Stir and stir some more until you get bored, cover and simmer.
  • If it looks a little dry, add some hot water - go easy though, about 1/4 pint at a time - and stir it through. The stirring should be starting to make it thicken anyway but add water as necessary. The rice should be starting to go al dente at this point.
  • Add the cheese and stir until it's melted. I've not specified what cheese as it's completely up to you. Sometimes I use Stilton or gorgonzola but in this case I used an extra mature cheddar.
  • If you want to, stir in the cream. It does make it a bit more indulgent but you worked hard today, you deserve it.
Serve with a hunk of ciabatta and another glass of wine. Yum.

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