We have a lovely chap from a local farm who pops round regularly with fresh free-range chicken breasts and eggs. He’s a godsend as I freeze the chicken breasts in bags of two and they’re so handy for things like this easy risotto as I just pop the frozen breasts straight into the stock and let them poach while I’m stirring. By all means use fresh though.
Make sure your stock is well flavoured. I’m quite lazy and if I haven’t got home made I tend to bung in a couple of stock cubes. I’d been sent these Knorr pots to try and actually the herby one tasted (and smelt) delicious so I’ll definitely buy them again.
You will need:
2 litres stock (I used 2 Knorr Herb Infusion pots and one chicken stock cube)
2 large free range chicken breasts
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
300g risotto rice
Couple handfuls of frozen peas
So firstly, get your stock bubbling away in a large saucepan. Make sure the cubes have dissolved (another bonus with the stock pot thingies as they’re just kind of jelly that melts quite easily) and pop in the chicken breasts.
Put a pan on. I use a large saucepan with quite high sides – the thing with risotto is that you need to beat it about a bit to make it nice and creamy (it’s all about releasing the starch) so use something like that or a large saucepan so you can give it a really good mix.
Bung in your oil, then fry the finely chopped onion until it’s translucent. Now chuck in the risotto rice and give it a really good stir around. There is a school of thought that you should almost ‘toast’ the rice in the oil before you add any liquid. I don’t go that far, but I do give it a really good stir before adding my first splosh of liquid (you can obviously use a nice glass of white wine here, but my pernickety youngest doesn’t like the taste).
Now just keep stirring ENTHUSIASTICALLY until each ladleful of stock is absorbed before adding another. Don’t be in too much of a hurry. Enjoy the process.
When you’re left with your chicken breasts just nestling in a teeny bit of stock, take them out, chop them (checking they’re cooked through) and add them to the risotto along with the last bit of stock. Add in the frozen peas, stir and cover for a final 5 minutes with the heat off.
Finally, pop out to your tubs in the garden where you sewed your dried peas a couple of weeks ago, and pinch off some fresh pea shoots to garnish.
Yum. Summer in a bowl, people.