I love risottos, and after undergoing several adaptations over the years believe me when I say that this recipe has been tried and tested! This is a recipe that's quite close to me as it's one of the first things I learnt how to cook, and it's the first I created on my own, so I hope you enjoy. As with all risottos, you know the deal, the key is to continually stir the rice to release the starch.
- 500 g chicken thigh pieces, diced, skin and excess fat removed
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 500 g arborio rice
- 1⁄2 cup white wine (I must stress to use a quality white wine! Don't use something that you wouldn't drink, believe me, )
- 1 pinch saffron strands, soaked in a little water for atleast 1 hour or 1⁄4 teaspoon immitation saffron
- 4 -6 cups chicken stock, warmed
- 8 large mushrooms, sliced (cup mushrooms work best)
- 1 bunch english spinach or 100 -200 g Baby Spinach, roughly chopped
- olive oil
- parmesan cheese (optional)
- Heat a small amount of oil in a large heavy based pot and add the chicken. When cooked, remove from the pot and set aside.
- On a high heat, warm a little more oil to the pot and add the garlic and onion. Saute until the onion is translucent.
- Add the rice to the pot and stir to coat the grains with the oil and onion. Add wine and saffron. Stir to combine.
- Add one cup of the stock and continually stir whilst bringing to the boil.
- Turn down to a medium heat. When the liquid has almost all been absorbed add another cup of stock and keep stirring continuously.
- Keep repeating step 5 until the rice is cooked. I find that I need to use six cups of stock, but quantities can vary from person to person. The best technique (I find) is to taste the rice after four cups, and keep checking after each cup you add after that.
- When the rice is cooked and almost all liquid has been absorbed stir in the chicken and mushrooms. Remove from heat when the mushrooms are starting to look cooked.
- Slowly add in the spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted. Add pepper to taste.
- Serve warm.
- If desired, a large handful of parmesan can be added with the chicken and mushrooms, or sprinkled over the top when served.