Monday, 28 March 2011

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

I'm ill.  I have a stinking cold, need to relax and want something comforting that doesn't take too long to cook but will make me feel loved - know the feeling?  My solution is mushroom risotto.

All that stirring, I hear you cry!  But alas, after a hard day, standing stirring with a spatula in one hand, a glass of wine (or lemsip) in the other sounds perfect to me.  And the earthy, garlicky mushrooms, creamy rice and succulent chicken are just what the doctor ordered.

This is the first recipe I've written for the blog and it's probably worth noting that I'm a make-it-up-as-I-go-along kinda girl, especially when I feel like just sleeping, so the below is what I did tonight, but may not be what I'd do tomorrow.  Although having said that, tonight's was fan-bloody-tastic (even if I do say so myself)


  • 50g dried mushrooms, any type
  • tbsp olive oil
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic gloves, crushed
  • Skinless, boneless chicken things, cubed
  • Fresh mushrooms, sliced (chestnut or the humble button mushrooms if that's what you have)
  • Risotto rice (about 200g)
  • Glass of white wine
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Parmesan cheese - good handful, about 50g
  • Parsley


1. Pop the mushrooms in a half litre measuring jug and fill with boiling water.  If you don't have a measuring jug of this size, use a bowl and cover the mushrooms with water (but you may need more stock later in this case).  Leave to soak for 20 minutes.  Drain the mushrooms, reserving the water, and chop.

2. In a wide deep pan, heat the oil and butter together and add the onions and garlic.  Cook on a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes (do not let them brown) and add the chicken for a couple of minutes, followed by the fresh and dried mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes.  Season with pepper and a little salt (stock is quite salty, so go easy on adding salt at this stage).  Then, add the risotto rice, keep stirring and notice that the rice grains will begin to turn transparent.

3.  Add the wine and let it bubble.  Pour some more wine into the now empty glass and, whilst stirring, enjoy.  Once all the wine has absorbed (in the pan, not the glass), add the all of the mushroom water, discarding the last tablespoon of liquid, stirring continuously (ish... I often walk away and come back to it, but I have a relatively short attention span and a sometimes needy husband...  I digress).

4. Once the mushroom water has been absorbed, add the stock little by little, stirring continuously (ish... again!), until you are happy with the rice; it should still have some bite, but be creamy and plump (about 20 minutes).  Season to taste.

5. Take off the heat and add most of the cheese and a small knob of butter. Stir well and cover for a couple of minutes whilst you potter off into the garden to grab some parsley, or if you're not so green fingered, to the fridge

6. Serve with the remaining cheese and sprinkled with parsley

This really hit the spot.  Once I took the photograph above, I grabbed the pan and put the same amount in my bowl again... I'm so greedy!

Enjoy!  B 

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