Chicken risotto always reminds me of the little Italian restaurant we often visited when I was a child. I loved the black-and-white photos of Venice on the walls, and the creamy, satisfying richness of the risotto. Unfortunately, risotto is also associated with a long and rather tortuous cooking experience. But no so for this recipe, for this is a throw-it-in-the-pot-and-put-it-in-the-oven type of recipe. So as you can probably imagine, it’s one I do a lot.

Meat quantities are vague; I usually chop any leftovers from a roast chicken and make a risotto with it the next day. When there has been very little left (under about a cupful), I’ve supplemented with slices of Chorizo sausage or chunks of Serrano ham. I also vary the recipe by adding dried mushrooms, using different types of grated cheese, and by throwing in a variety of dried (or fresh) herbs. I usually serve with either salad or garlic bread or, on particularly hungry days, both.

Ingredients (for 5 people when served with salad and garlic bread)

  • 200g risotto rice (I use Arborio, but I expect other sorts would be fine)ingredients
  • 1 tbsp garlic puree
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • approx. 1-2 cups left over cooked chicken pieces (see notes above)
  • 1 300g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 500ml hot chicken stock
  • approx. 100g grated cheese

Method

Mix the rice, oil and garlic puree in a large oven-proof dish and ensure that the grains are coated in the oil. Then add all the rest of the ingredients except for the cheese, stir well, cover, and cook in the oven at 180C for 50 minutes. Stir after about half an hour; if it is looking a little dry add a splash more water.

When it is ready, stir in the cheese and serve.

dish

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