Creamy Chicken Risotto is an excellent way to use up chicken left over from a roast. It’s so good that it’s worth cooking an extra large chicken so that there is enough for a good size risotto.
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Risotto is the perfect comfort food for cold, dark days when you need a warming supper to nourish you. It isn’t a difficult dish to make, the only downside is that you have to be there all the time, as it needs stirring fairly frequently. Not a problem if you have something else you’re doing in the kitchen. My something else is listening to a podcast with a cup or glass of something nice. It’s lovely to have some time on my own being ‘busy’ but not too busy!
So risotto isn’t difficult, but the ingredients can make a difference to the flavour:
Roast chicken is the best bet here. The flavour and texture are ideal for risotto, where you’re heating the meat in liquid. I like to tear rather than cut it into large-ish pieces, as you will have some that are smaller when you take the meat off the bird.
After Christmas, if you’ve been the cook, you can use turkey instead of chicken. I usually freeze a lot of the extra as the last thing I want in January is more turkey, but later in the year, it’s a very helpful thing to find in your freezer.
In a risotto the stock is a big part of the flavour, so make your own if you can – and if you had roast chicken, you’ve got the carcass (see how to make Slow Cooker Stock). Otherwise, buy some. At a push, you can use a stock cube or I have used Marigold bouillon powder, which is a vegetable stock. These are fine, but a good chicken stock will give the best flavour.
It isn’t strictly necessary to add anything creamy to a risotto, but this addition turns it into such a soothing meal that I never omit it or something similar. Greek yoghurt or soured cream is fine. Or some double cream. Use up whatever you have, rather than buying crème fraîche especially (although I often do).
This recipe uses frozen peas for colour and laziness – no need for more veg! You could use mushrooms, which are best cut fairly small and fried with the onions. You could actually put in any number of vegetables. If they need cooking, add them with the stock. If they only need heating through, add them when the peas go in.
Cheese adds some extra taste and texture, Cheddar will work – or you could leave it out altogether.
Garam masala is spicy without being hot, but curry powder is equally good. It adds some more flavour, as chicken and rice and crème fraîche could be a bit bland. You can’t tell it’s in there, but you might need something else if it isn’t.
How much salt to put in your Creamy Chicken Risotto is a good question. If you made your stock, there will be a lot less salt than in if you bought it or used a cube. I do put a teaspoonful of salt in with the rice, as I know my stock has none in. Then I add more (gradually) at the end until it tastes right. To a large extent, it’s personal taste, but if you’re not sure add a tiny bit more.
- 5 bladed herb cutting scissors – Useful for cutting the parsley – or any other herbs you want to use. Most importantly, they don’t cut your fingers.
If you like this…
…Why don’t you try:
Creamy Chicken Risotto
- 300 g cooked chicken
- 1 medium onion approx 170g
- 750 ml stock
- 40 g butter
- 200 g arborio rice, or risotto rice
- 2 teaspoons garam masala, or curry powder (10ml)
- 100 ml white wine or vermouth
- 200 g frozen peas
- 100 g crème fraîche
- 60 g Parmesan or similar cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley to garnish
- Tear the chicken into pieces - bigger than bite-size. You want to have to cut it once or twice when you eat it
- Chop the onions into small pieces
- Grate the cheese
- Put the stock on to heat (until just below boiling)
For the Chicken Risotto:
- Separately, heat the butter in a heavy shallow pan over a MEDIUM heat
- Cook the onions uncovered until soft, without allowing them to colour - for about 10 minutes. Stir often to prevent them from sticking and browning, adjust the heat if necessaryThey are done when they are transparent
- Pour in the rice and garam masala or curry powder and stir through the buttered onions
- Add 50ml wine and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring. Add the hot stock and bring to the boil
- Turn the heat to MEDIUM-LOW and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently
- Turn up the heat as you stir in the rest of the wine, the chicken and the frozen peas
- When the risotto begins to bubble, turn it down to MEDIUM-LOW for a further 5-10 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequentlyThe risotto is ready when the chicken and peas are heated through and the rice is tender with a bit of a bite
- Stir the grated cheese through to melt it
- Add salt to taste - how much depends on how salty your stock is. Add pepper to taste. Stir the crème fraîche through
- Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan, and leave for 5 minutes
- Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
Everyday Cooks Tips:Ingredients:
- Chicken - Roast is best. Substitute turkey after Christmas
- Onions - Use frozen to speed up the dish. (See here to make your own). Use 140g chopped frozen onions
- Stock - Easy to make your own in the Slow Cooker (and you do have a chicken carcass to hand). If not, buy supermarket stock from the cold shelf. Third option is a cube or Marigold Bouillon
- Peas - Use any frozen vegetable that you like (or have)
- Cheese - You could use Cheddar, or leave it out altogether
- Crème fraîche - You can use Greek yoghurt or cream if that's what you have.