The Chicken Risotto You Didn't Know You Wanted

Risotto is one of those dishes that scares away so many casual cooks that it is often relegated to a restaurant-only treat. And in some ways of thinking about it, that's with good cause. Risotto is, frankly speaking, very easy to mess up! But on the other hand, it's also very easy to get it right. "Risotto isn't a challenging dish, but it is a dish that needs care and attention," says chef and recipe developer Ting Dalton of Cook Simply. "The key to a good risotto is the continual stirring and making sure that risotto soaks in the stock. It takes patience but I find stirring risotto quite satisfying."

This is not a dish you can whip together quickly. It requires about an hour of hands-on work. But at the end of that (quite satisfying) work, you'll have an entrée that will thrill your family, dinner guests, and your own taste buds, too. Pair the dish with a fresh green salad, some roasted vegetables, or simply add even more veggies to this recipe and make an entire meal in a bowl — just don't forget to have a nice glass of wine or cup of tea to keep you company as you slowly stir in stock and relax with your risotto as it cooks its way to patient perfection.

Gather your ingredients

For this classic take on risotto, you'll need dried porcini mushrooms; olive oil; an onion, finely chopped; minced garlic; risotto rice (aka arborio rice); chicken stock; chopped, cooked chicken; butter; grated Parmesan cheese; and chopped fresh parsley.

"This is a basic risotto recipe so other vegetables would work and add texture," says Dalton, "[like] peas, zucchini, or carrots. Alternatively, take out the chicken [and stock] for a veggie option."

Rehydrate the mushrooms and start cooking the onions, garlic, and rice

Put the dried porcini mushrooms into 2 cups of boiling water and then cut the heat. Now let the mushrooms soften and rehydrate for at least 15 minutes and for up to 30 minutes.

When you're about 10 minutes from the end of the mushroom rehydration, add the olive oil to a large pan and sauté the onion and garlic until they soft and fragrant. (Pro tip, add the onions a few minutes before the garlic.)

Once the onions have softened and the garlic is fragrant, add the risotto rice. Make sure you coat the rice in the onions, garlic, and oil so that the grains glisten.

Begin to add in liquid

Pour in the porcini mushrooms (and the soaking liquid in which they were resting) to the rice mixture and stir thoroughly. You'll start to notice the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Keep stirring regularly over a low to medium heat.

Once you see that most of the mushroom liquid is beginning to be absorbed, start to add the chicken stock a little at a time and continue to stir. You'll need to do this, adding a bit of stock and stirring, for around 20 to 25 minutes until all the stock is gone and the rice softens. You want the risotto rice to be soft but still retain its shape and structure.

"You can carefully pick up a few grains and squeeze in between your fingers to check [its feel]" says Dalton. "You don't want the rice to become mushy."

Add in the remaining ingredients and then garnish the dish

At this point, when almost all of the stock is added, add in the cooked chicken and mix it with the risotto, stirring on a low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.

Now turn off the heat, and then stir through the butter and the Parmesan cheese, combining until the butter has melted and the cheese is mixed throughput. Retain some of the grated Parmesan for the garnish, which you can put on each serving or sprinkle over a serving dish. Either way, sprinkle the chopped parsley and that remaining Parmesan when you are ready to serve the dish.

And on the off chance there are any leftovers, Dalton says, "It would keep in the fridge in a suitable container for a few days. Or pop [the risotto] into a freezer container and you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Reheat [in] a microwave for best results."

The Chicken Risotto You Didn't Know You Wanted
4.9 from 17 ratings
This delicious, easy chicken risotto recipe is sure to impress your friends and family -- you'll want to make it every week!
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
Chicken Risotto served with garnish
Ready in 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 ¾ cups of risotto rice
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 5 ounces of chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 ounces butter
  • ⅓ cup of Parmesan cheese grated
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
Directions
  1. Put the dried porcini mushrooms into 2 cups of boiling water, cut the heat, and let the mushrooms soften and rehydrate for at least 15 minutes (and even for up to 30 minutes).
  2. Add the olive oil to a large pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft.
  3. Once the onions have softened, add the risotto rice and stir, making sure you coat the rice in the onions, garlic, and oil until the grains glisten.
  4. Pour in the porcini mushrooms and the soaking liquid to the rice mixture and stir thoroughly. You'll start to notice the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Keep stirring regularly.
  5. Once you see the liquid is beginning to be absorbed, add the chicken stock a little at a time and continue to stir.
  6. You'll need to do this for around 20-25 minutes until all the stock is gone and the rice softens. You want the risotto rice to be soft but still retain its shape and bite.
  7. At this point, add the cooked chicken and mix with the risotto on low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat, and then stir through the butter and the Parmesan cheese, and combine until melted. Retain some of the Parmesan for the garnish.
  9. Sprinkle chopped parsley and the remaining Parmesan when you are ready to serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 890
Total Fat 27.6 g
Saturated Fat 11.9 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 72.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 128.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 5.5 g
Sodium 548.5 mg
Protein 30.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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