I used to shy away from making risotto as I thought it involved a lot of hardwork. In fact, it’s amazingly quick to throw together a riostto and you can pretty much use any combination of ingredients that you fancy.
I have a couple of risottos that I make regularly, using the same base recipe. I made this Chorizo and Chicken Risotto last night for dinner and from walking in the door to serving up was 40 minuetes, which isn’t bad going for a home cooked meal!
The inspiration for chorizo and savoy cabbage was taken from Julia Parsons’ delightful cookbook (which has a blog of the same name) – A Slice of Cherry Pie. However, I’ve jazzed it up a bit to suit my own tastes (and what we had in the fridge) – feel free to do the same.
Ingredients (to serve 4):
Base Risotto Ingredients
300g aborrio rice
1 litre chicken stock (I always make up slightly more just in case)
100ml dry white wine (or whatever you have in fridge so long as it’s not sweet!)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 white onion
Dollop of Butter
Generous Handful of grated parmesan or pecorino
salt and pepper to taste
Additions specific to this recipe (can be varied – only your inspiration is the limit!)
1 courgette, diced
1 skinless chicken breast, diced
100-150g of chorizo sausage, diced
Handful of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
6 large savoy cabbage leaves, shredded
To Make the Risotto
Step 1: The Preparation
The key to preparing a risotto quickly is to prep all your ingredients. So whilst you warm a frying pan on the stove with a generous spoonful of olive oil, kick off by:
– Chopping onion
– Dicing Courgette, chicken and chorizo
– Crushing garlic
At this prep stage I would also suggest you to the following:
– weigh out rice
– measure out wine
– boil kettle and make up the chicken stock
– grate cheese
– chop sun-dried tomatoes
– shred the cabbage leaves (either using a large knife or a food processor with a shredding attachment)
Step 2: Fying up the meat
Now that the oil in the frying pan is hot, throw in the chicken and chorizo and season – the chorzio will release yummy red juices which will add a wonderful flavour to the risotto. Cook the meat through and then turn off hob and just leave to rest.
Step 3: The base risotto
-Whilst the meat is cooking, take a large, non-stick, heavy-bottomed pan, add a dash of oil and when hot (I use an electric hob and usually keep the heat on medium -to low throughout the risotto process), throw in the chopped onion and crushed garlic and cook (not too high a heat) until the onions become translucent. At this stage, add the dry rice and stir for a couple of minutes
-Next add the wine and keep stirring until it has completely evaporated
-Start adding chicken stock to the risotto (about 150-200ml at a time), stirring regularly, to ensure that the rice does not stick to the pan and burn. Let each addition of stock evaporate before adding the next
– When you have added about 400ml of stock, taste the rice (and keeping tasting periodically for rest of process), if it it still hard, keep adding stock. I find that I usually need between 800ml-1 litre of stock. The perfect risotto should be slightly al dente, but still creamy in overall texture
– When you are half way through the stock addition process, add the shredded cabbage and stir into the mix
Stage 4: The final flourishes
– Once the rice is al dente/the risotto has a creamy texture and you have finished adding the stock, mix in the meat (and its juices), the chopped sundried tomatoes, grated cheese and butter, season and stir through
– Leave to rest for a couple of minutes – during this time you could knock up a simple green salad to serve with the risotto if you fancy
– Spoon out into bowls and serve sprinkled with extra grated parmesan, a green salad and crusty bread for a delicious heartwarming supper
My other risotto fave:
Chicken, lemon and spinach.
Follow the same basic recipe above, but with extra chicken (e.g. 2 breasts to serve 4 when diced), and then subsituting in juice of half a lemon (note this may reduce the amount of stock you need by a little); grated zest of 1 lemon, half a lemon cut into fine slivers and 500g spinach (it shrinks and reduces when cooked).