Monday, September 15, 2008

Risotto with Chicken

This is a classic Italian combination of chicken and rice, cooked with Parma ham, white wine and Parmesan cheese. Recipe serves 6.


2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces (250 g) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups risotto rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
3 pints (1.75 litres) simmering chicken stock
2ounces (60 g) Parma ham, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flat leaf parsley, to garnish


1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over moderately high heat. Add the chicken cubes and cook, stirring, until they start to turn white.
2. Reduce the heat to low and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft. Stir in the rice, saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until all the rice grains are coated in oil.
3. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the wine has been absorbed. Stir the saffron into the simmering stock, then add large spoonfuls of stock to the rice, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next.
4. When the rice is three-quarters cooked, add the Parma ham and continue cooking until the rice is just tender and the risotto creamy.
5. Add the butter and the Parmesan and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the risotto hot, sprinkled with a little more Parmesan, and garnish with parsley.

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