Saturday, May 29, 2010


Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

Well, I'm finally back - I've officially finished the IB Diploma on Monday and my summer holiday has started! But strangely enough, and I really don't know exactly why - I haven't been dying to bake after exams. (Gasp!)

Maybe it's because prom is coming up next week and I want to make sure my dress fits, or because there's no one to share my bakes with, or because I gained an absymal number of pounds from too much snacking during revision, or simply because I was just exhausted after 4 weeks of hell and all I wanted to do was just...sleep.

However I did do some cooking. I really ought to try a few new dishes this summer, and learn a few Chinese dishes off my mum, because once I'm off to uni I'll have to feed myself, and I can't just eat brownies and cookies all day! At the moment I'm very keen on trying some Japanese and Korean dishes. Anyway, I made this Chicken and Mushroom Risotto for dinner the other day and it was not bad at all!

It's the first time I've made risotto using the stir-stir-stir-over-the-stove method (I tried oven-baked risotto before) and I must say it's pretty tiring, standing over the stove for almost an hour making this dish! It just seemed forever before the rice would absorb the stock become soft.

But the result was totally worth it. Even without the addition of cream, the risotto was still perfectly creamy but not heavy, the rice was done just right - soft with just a bit of bite. I used shiitake and white button mushrooms which gave a lovely blend of mushroom flavours. I can't wait to make risotto again - probably one with sun dried tomatoes next!

(Also fingers crossed that my baking crave will come back soon :S I really want to use this summer well and try baking new things!)

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4

250g arborio rice
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
300g mushrooms, sliced
4 chicken fillets, cut into bite size pieces
1L chicken stock
20g butter
3 tbsp olive oil
40g parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste

1. Fry the chicken pieces in 2tbsp olive oil until golden brown and cooked. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
2. Heat the remaining oil and butter in a large pan, add the garlic and onions and cook until onion is translucent. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer.
3. Add the sliced mushrooms to the onions and stir around to coat them with oil. Cook until mushrooms soften and release their juices.
4. Stir in the rice. A ladle at a time, add in the hot chicken stock and stir the mushroom-rice mixture until all the stock is absorbed. Repeat until rice is cooked - chewy, but not yet mushy - taste to check.
5. Season risotto with salt and pepper, and stir in the cooked chicken pieces. Stir in the grated parmesan. Plate up the risotto, and sprinkle on more parmesan prior to serving.
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