The thing that puts some people off cooking risotto themselves though is all that stirring, waiting for ladle after ladle of hot stock to be absorbed by the rice as it becomes increasingly creamy over the course of 20-30 minutes. This recipe does away with that all together, and yet the results are fantastic.
Served with a sliced pan fried chicken breast finished with butter and thyme, and a garnish of dressed rocket, it's a satisfying and impressive meal that is really easy to make.
To make this you'll need
(Serves 2 with leftover risotto for lunch!)
- 300g of risotto rice (Arborio)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 700ml hot chicken stock
- 25g butter
- 100g fresh chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- Roughly 10g of dried porcini mushrooms (steeped in hot water for at least 10 mins then squeezed out)
- 50g Parmesan, freshly grated
- 2 chicken breasts
- 25g butter
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
How to make the dish
- Soften the chopped onion in a little olive oil and the first 25g butter
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute
- Add the fresh mushrooms and the drained dried mushrooms (DO NOT throw away the water from the dried mushrooms) fry for a few minutes until lightly coloured
- Pour in the rice and stir until coated in the butter, garlic, onion and mushroom. Toast the rice in the pan for a minute until the husks turn slightly translucent and begin to crack.
- Pour in 700ml of stock (Use the mushroom water and combine with homemade stock or a decent chicken stock cube and water. The total amount of liquid needs to be 700ml exactly though)
- Stir and make sure no rice is stuck to the pan.
- Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook in a preheated oven at 200*C for 20 minutes.
- Once the risotto has been in for about 10 minutes start cooking the chicken.
- Season the chicken with salt an pepper and cook in a fry pan with a little olive oil onamedium heat. Roughly 8-10minutes.
- When the chicken is cooked add a good knob of the butter to thepan and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Let the butter bubble and spoon the herby butter over the chicken until it starts to turn brown. Slide the pan off the heat and leave to rest while you finish the risotto.
- Remove the risotto from the oven and (providing it is cooked to your liking) add a good knob of butter and 50g of freshly grated parmesan and stir to combine.
Spoon the risotto into the centre of large plates or wide pasta dishes and top with the chicken breast (sliced thickly on a diagonal - it makes it easier to eat), then spoon over the chicken's resting juices and thyme butter and top with a small amount of rocket dressed with a little oil and vinegar.
To go with this I chose Saison Dupont. It's a classic saison that has a herbal, aromatic, savoury edge that matches well with the thyme and mushrooms, but it also has plenty of bitterness and a citrussy hop flavour which, combined with a high level of carbonation, helps to cut through the creaminess of the risotto and the richness of the herb butter and golden pan fried chicken. In other words, I think it works really well.
To be fair, saison and mushroom risotto is a pretty classic combo so this one was pretty much a no-brainer. I'd urge you to give it a go, and of course let me know what you think.