A delicious winter warmer recipe (or summer, or basically any time it’s that good..!) Risotto is one of my favourite dishes. You can 100% go for the classic and use mushrooms instead of this dish but I quite enjoy the colours and the heartiness of adding chicken and pancetta.
I used to veer away from Risotto as there is nothing worse than ending up with a watery plate of despair but if you follow these steps it is fool proof and actually very simple!
- 2 Shallots
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Whole Lemon
- 150 grams Pancetta
- 4 Skinless & Boneless Chicken Thighs
- 1 to 2 handfuls of Frozen Peas
- 200 grams Carnaroli Risotto Rice
- 1 Litre Hot Chicken Stock
- 1 glass/250ml of White Wine
- 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- Few sprigs of Lemon Thyme
Start by preparing everything first, so finely chop Shallots, crush or grate the Garlic Cloves & Zest the Lemon and place these ingredients to one side.
Slice the Chicken Thighs into smallish chunks and place to one side. If you don’t have diced Pancetta, then you will need to slice the Pancetta into small chunks too.
Now you’re ready to cook!
Heat the Olive Oil and 1 Tbsp. Butter in a heavy based pan and then add the chopped Shallots, crushed Garlic Cloves & Zest of the Lemon and fry for a couple of minutes on a medium heat. Once the Shallots start to soften add in the White Wine and stir for a few minutes.
Next pour in the Carnaroli Rice and mix it around, allow it to sizzle against the pan for a few minutes and then add in the chopped Pancetta & Chicken. Give it all a good stir and then add small amounts of the Hot Chicken Stock and stir until each addition of the Hot Stock is absorbed and starts to thicken the Risotto – about 100ml to 200ml a time, this should take roughly 20 to 30 minutes to gradually pour in the stock little by little and allow it to absorb each time before adding more.
Once all the Chicken Stock is absorbed taste the Rice – it should be cooked but still have a little bit of a bite to it, I personally don’t like soggy Risotto! However, if it is not cooked enough to your liking then simply add in another 100ml Hot Water and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes.
When you are happy with the Rice add in the Frozen Peas, Juice of the Lemon and cook through for 5 minutes. Finally sprinkle in some chopped Lemon Thyme, Season with Salt & Pepper and then stir through the last Tbsp. of Butter.
- I like to use Carnaroli Rice instead of the more well-known Arborio Rice. The reason is Carnaroli is slightly firmer and has a higher starch content, so helps make a creamier sauce and also tends to keep it’s shape and texture better rather than going very soggy and stodgy.
- Try to use a good quality Chicken Stock as it is essentially the key base for the flavour.
- Adding Butter & Olive Oil to the pan is good for getting the flavour of Butter into the Shallots, without burning them. If it was just Butter in the Pan you have to be very careful as Butter burns quickly – the Oil helps to stop this.
- It’s really important to mix the Risotto while you’re adding the stock as this helps to release the Starch from the Rice and gives that creamy texture.
Meet the Author
My name is Georgie and I LOVE all things food. It marks most occasions and life events in some way for me – family celebrations where a bake off will almost certainly be on the cards, travelling the world to seek out culinary sensational overloads, a night out being wined & dined or just being in my kitchen; my favourite place at home and working those creative muscles.Learn more