Making risotto isn't especially difficult, but it does require your attention and your uninterrupted presence at the stovetop. It involves nearly a half an hour of continuous stirring while ladling hot stock into uncooked arborio rice. Stirring and slowly adding the stock are the keys to a good risotto.
This slow cooking releases the rice's natural starches, producing the creamy, velvety consistency characteristic of perfect risotto. And it's important to use arborio rice. You can use other types of rice, but arborio rice is unique in its starch content, and other types of rice won't yield the same creaminess.
- 1 pound cooked chicken (around 2 large boneless chicken breasts or the equivalent)
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 medium shallot, or 1/2 small onion (chopped, about 1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for shaving
- Kosher salt to taste
- Pull apart or cut the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Heat the stock in a saucepan, and lower the heat so that it stays hot but doesn't boil.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat, then add the chopped shallot. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the shallot is translucent.
- Add the rice and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon so that the rice doesn't have a chance to brown, and cook until it gives off a nutty aroma and the grains are coated with the fat.
- Add the wine and cook for 1 more minute, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed.
- Pour in a ladleful of hot stock and stir until it is absorbed. (It's important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed so that the rice doesn't scorch.) Add the next ladle of stock as soon as the rice is almost dry.
- Keep adding stock, a ladle at a time, waiting for the liquid to be absorbed before adding more stock. This should take between 20 and 30 minutes, or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite without being crunchy.
- Stir in the remaining butter and the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with Kosher salt. Fold in the chicken. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with additional shaved Parmesan.
Tips and Variations
You'll need about a pound of cooked chicken for this chicken risotto recipe. You can use grilled chicken, poached chicken breasts, or even leftover roasted chicken. Cooking the chicken ahead of time (or use leftover chicken) is an excellent time-saver, particularly since you're going to have your hands full just making the risotto.
If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn't done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring until it's absorbed.
To add some color and flavor, finish the risotto with a handful of chopped fresh herbs. You can also make this a complete meal by incorporating a cooked vegetable such as peas or asparagus.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||14 g|
|Saturated Fat||5 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||6 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|