Risotto is a classic that everyone should know, and this EASY creamy Chicken and Mushroom Risotto is one of my favourites. In this post, I bust a few risotto myths, including having to stand over the stove stirring constantly, the need to heat the chicken broth and add it gradually into the risotto.
The new way to make risotto that comes out just as creamy and just as delicious is here – and it’s so much easier, less washing up and far less labour intensive than the old way!
Risotto is one of my all time favourite foods. I feel like I say that about many recipes I’ve shared, but I really mean it. Really!!
I don’t make risotto as often as I want to because it’s carb heavy and I lack self control. And it’s just so easy to eat. When I say “easy to eat”, I mean that literally because it’s the type of food that I classify as great Couch Food. Being food you can eat with a spoon without taking your eyes off the TV screen.
Not that I’m encouraging you to eat dinner in front of the TV. But you know what I mean. Using a knife and fork to eat a steak dinner requires more concentration than eating risotto. 😉
HOW TO MAKE RISOTTO
Risotto is really easy to make, and you do not have to stir constantly and add hot broth gradually. But there are a few simple tips that make all the difference, as well as busting a few myths! 🙂
- Arborio Risotto Rice – You must use risotto rice because it is starchier than other rice. If you don’t use risotto rice, you’ll end up with a pilaf instead of a creamy risotto!
- Saute onion, garlic and the rice – Almost every savoury recipe I share starts with “saute garlic and onion”, and there’s a good reason for that – because it’s an essential flavour base. Risotto is no exception! Sautéing the rice in the soffrito of onion and garlic adds a slight nuttiness to the rice and also helps to ensure even cooking of each rice grain;
- Tasty stock – If you want a tasty risotto, don’t use water. Full stop. The better the broth, the better the flavour. Homemade always rules. But store bought is what I usually use;
- No need to heat the broth – I swear to you, I have made it both ways and you can not tell the difference whether you use hot or room temperature (even fridge cold) broth. The only difference is that it adds a couple of minutes to the cook time because when you add the stock, it takes time to heat up. To me, that is worth saving on washing up; and
- No need to stir constantly and no need to gradually add broth – Busting another myth, there is no need to stand over the stove constantly stirring the risotto and you do not need to add the broth gradually if you make it in a large pot or skillet. I once made 2 risottos side by side to compare the difference between constantly stirring and gradually adding the broth versus adding most of the broth into the pot / skillet and only stirring it a couple of times and I could not tell the difference between the risottos.
However, in order to make a risotto without stirring constantly, you need to use a large pot or skillet (like pictured) so the rice spreads out in a fairly thin layer. I never understood the science behind why my risotto came out creamy even with minimal stirring and dumping all the stock in one go until I read this article by Kenji from Serious Eats: The Road to Better Risotto. He explained that traditionally, risotto is made in a fairly smallish saucepan so the rice is stacked deep and the liquid level is high (if you dump it all in at the same time). So in order for the rice to cook evenly, you need to stir and add the broth gradually.
I’ve always made my risottos in a skillet because I find it easier and better to sauté the ingredients that I stir into risottos. Which is why I’ve never had a problem making creamy risotto even though I barely stir and I add most of the (fridge cold) broth in one go!
So there you have it! The new way to make risotto – no need to heat the broth, no need to add it in gradually and barely any stirring, and the same end result: a gorgeous, creamy risotto!
I’ve garnished this Chicken and Mushroom Risotto with some golden bits of bacon which not only makes this even tastier (you know my rule: bacon makes everything better!), it serves a double purpose because I sauté the chicken and mushroom in the bacon fat. Never waste free flavour!
So! Now that I’ve made risotto so much easier to make, what do you think? Will Chicken and Mushroom Risotto be on your dinner table soon? 🙂 – Nagi x
Chicken & Mushroom Risotto
- 1 tsp - 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2.5 oz / 75 g bacon (preferably streaky / fatty) (optional)
- 12 oz / 350 g chicken thigh fillets , cut into bite size pieces
- 13 oz / 400 g mushrooms , sliced (I use Swiss brown)
- 2 tbsp / 30 g unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 onion , finely diced (brown, white, yellow)
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml white wine (optional - sub with water or chicken broth)
- 1 1/4 cups / 250 g arborio risotto rice (Note 1)
- 4 cups / 1 litre chicken broth/stock
- 1/2 cup / 35 g freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 - 3 tbsp / 15 - 50 g unsalted butter
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Heat 1 tsp oil in a pot or skillet (Note 2) over high heat. Add bacon and cook until golden. Transfer to small microwave-proof bowl.
- Leave about 1 tbsp bacon fat in pot - discard excess. Add chicken* and cook until browned and cooked through. Transfer to separate bowl.
- Add mushrooms* and cook until light golden. Add to bowl with chicken.
- Turn heat down to medium and return pot to the stove. Add butter, and melt. Add garlic and onion. Sauté for 3 minutes or until softened.
- Turn heat up to high, add rice and stir until the grains become partially translucent - no longer than 1 minute. (Note 3)
- Add wine and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot (to get any brown bits), until the alcohol smell evaporates ~ 2 minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium low. Add about 3 cups of stock. Then leave it, uncovered, stirring just once or twice, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Check firmness of rice and add 1/2 cup of stock at a time, stirring in between until absorbed, until the rice is cooked to your taste. (Note 4)
- Add chicken and mushrooms back into the risotto towards the end, just to heat through.
- Right at the end when the risotto is ready, add a splash of chicken broth to make the risotto to make it slightly soupy, then take it off the stove.
- KEY STEP: Add butter (the more the better!) and parmesan, then stir vigorously (activates the starch and makes it super creamy). The excess liquid will evaporate quickly, so add more if you want a soupier risotto, like what you get at posh restaurants.
- Serve IMMEDIATELY!! (Note5) Garnish with reheated bacon, and extra parmesan and parsley if desired.
a) Start taste testing after you add around 3 cups of liquid to the risotto to see if the rice is ready, It should be firm, not soft.
Save this Chicken and Mushroom Risotto to your “Dinners” Pinterest Board!
And let’s be friends on Pinterest so you can see all the delicious recipes I’m pinning!
Life of Dozer – I have lost count of the number of food photos I had to ditch because a certain scavenger was lurking in the background…..
I think you will love…..
Using leftover risotto to make Arancini Balls!!!
This Chorizo Risotto which packs a serious flavour punch!
PS Can’t use the no stir method for this risotto because the broth is thicker.
And for busy days, a ONE POT BAKED Chicken and Parmesan Garlic Risotto!