I don’t know about you. But ever since I bought a bag of arborio rice, risotto has been my new obsession of comfort food. As it’s not one of these dump dinners that don’t require too much care, it took me a few tries to get things right. The good news is that once you know the basics about how to cook risotto, you’ll be able to create your own risotto recipes with what you already have in the fridge.
The Chicken Mushroom Risotto recipe that I am about to share with you today fits the scenario – using the ingredients that I already had in the kitchen to cook a delicious and healthy meal, leaving myself feeling accomplished.
Before we talk about what ingredients you can use in your own risotto, let’s lay the foundation first, shall we?
As a classic Italian rice dish, risotto seems to have a reputation of being a time-consuming dish with a painful cooking process. At least that’s the vibe I got from studying traditional risotto recipes online. It says that the key to cook a perfect risotto is that you have to warm up whatever broth you want to use first, add a half cup of the warm broth at a time, stir the rice constantly until the broth is absorbed, then add another half cup of the broth, stir, repeat the process until the risotto is perfectly tender. Hmmm….I am not sure if I am up for that.
Yes, it takes time for the rice to be tender, but the process doesn’t have to be tedious and painful. That’s why there are so many slow cooker risotto recipes all around the web. No stirring required at all. Guess I am not the only one who’s lazy and don’t want to religiously follow the traditional process of cooking risotto.
I haven’t tried any slow cooker risotto recipes yet, but after some experiment on cooking risotto the traditional way and not so traditional way, here are some key points that I learned about cooking risotto on a stove top.
Toast risotto in fat before any liquid is added.
Toast the rice before simmering in any broth allows the starch of rice to be fully released, resulting in a creamy risotto.
Cook risotto with wine.
If you are a big fan of cooking with wine like me, this step happens right before you add any broth in your rice. Let the alcohol evaporate. From this point on, your kitchen is going to smell like heaven. But if you don’t like cooking with wine, just replace it with broth.
Boil, cover, and simmer.
This is going to be a controversial point. If your grandma taught you how to cook, you might not agree with me. In that case, you should by no means change what she taught you. Basically, instead of adding a little bit broth at a time, pour all the broth into your pot and bring to a boil (stir once), then cover the risotto and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes without stirring, just like what you do with normal rice.
That’s how I cook risotto now and it’s been working out quite well for me. At least, I am no longer on the fence whenever I think about making a risotto for dinner.
The two most important ingredients for cooking risotto besides the rice are broth and parmesan cheese. As long as you’ve got these two in your fridge, you are good to go. Meat or no meat is totally your choice. Other ingredient options are onions, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, peas, seafood like shrimp or scallops, etc. Got herbs? It never hurts to add them in your risotto. Parsley works the best. Thyme, dill or oregano work great too.
This Chicken Mushroom Risotto happened after I made a huge batch of slow cooker chicken broth. So I had broth, shredded chicken, mushrooms and a few other random vegetables on hand. With my lazy risotto cooking method, it turned out wonderful.
It’s rich in flavor. (Thanks to the homemade broth!) It’s perfectly tender and creamy. It’s a great way to use up some vegetables in your fridge, isn’t it? Here comes to the recipe. Hope it brings you some idea about making your own risotto. If you like the idea, you might want to add arborio rice in your pantry from now on for your future spontaneous risotto dinners!
Do you have a go-to risotto recipe? Or, are you a spontaneous cook? If so, what do you usually put in your risotto? Leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to see your creation.Print
Chicken Mushroom Risotto
Chicken mushroom risotto with vegetables cooked in rich homemade chicken broth and white wine.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 servings
- Category: Gluten Free, Main Course
- Cuisine: Italian
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cups chicken broth (I used homemade broth)
- 6 ounce mushrooms, sliced
- 8 ounce frozen brussels sprouts
- 1 cup shredded chicken, cooked
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Place onion and carrots in the saucepan, add a pinch of salt and turn the heat up to high. Cook until the onions are translucent, stirring often, about 1 minute.
- Stir in rice, followed by thyme. Let the rice toast in the saucepan and coat with oil until it starts turning slightly brown, stirring often, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add wine and continue stirring until the alcohol evaporates, about 1 minute. Pour chicken broth into the pan and bring to a boil.
- Once it’s boiling, stir in mushrooms and brussels sprouts and bring to a boil again, stirring occasionally.
- Add shredded chicken and turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken broth is absorbed by the rice. Uncover, stir in parsley and parmesan cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese is melted.
- Turn off the heat. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the risotto to serving bowls. Garnish with more parsley and serve immediately.
If you don’t prefer cooking with wine, substitute it for more broth.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 508
- Sugar: 4.2g
- Sodium: 947mg
- Fat: 19.2g
- Saturated Fat: 6.2g
- Carbohydrates: 50.6g
- Fiber: 4.8g
- Protein: 29.7g
- Cholesterol: 47mg