Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chicken, Lemon and pea Risotto

I was first introduced to cooking with Risotto from my good friend from Italy. I buy it at Costco, but for smaller packages I'm sure you can get at Trader Joes or maybe even local supermarkets. Risotto is known to be a tad more temperamental than regular rice, so your first time I would recommend you not to Facebook or watch Dexter or Good I often do while cooking:) Enjoy!
I haven't tried this one out yet...but seriously how could it not be good??? I'll return and report soon!

Chicken, Lemon and Pea Risotto

Inspired by Donna Hay

Serves 4
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and thinly diced
1 stick of celery, thinly diced (optional)
1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly chopped
zest of half a whole lemon
1 cup Aborio rice or really any type of risotto you can find
Good splash of dry white wine
Approximately 3 c. Chicken stock
Good couple handfuls of frozen peas
1 cup shredded cooked chicken, white, brown meat or a mixture
Juice of half a whole lemon
Salt and pepper
handful of parmesan cheese

  1. Heat the stock in a small saucepan.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot add the onion and celery and sweat (with the lid on), stirring occasionally until soft but not brown (5-10 mins).
  3. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for a few minutes, again stirring frequently.
  4. Add the rice and turn up the heat. Stir to coat the rice (from here on you need to stir much more frequently to stop the rice sticking or burning and also to release the starch to make it deliciously creamy).
  5. You should notice the rice become translucent and at this point you need to add the wine and continue to stir.
  6. Once the wine has been absorbed by the rice, add the first ladel of stock and turn the heat back down to medium. Keep stiring.
  7. Once this ladel of stock has been fully absorbed by the rice, add another ladel, stir and repeat until the rice is cooked (try it - is it soft with a little bit of bite left? Yes - then move on to the next step, No - add more stock).
  8. Add the frozen pea before the last couple of ladels so they have time to cook.
  9. Once the rice and peas are cooked, remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and chicken. Stir to mix well, season to taste.
  10. Scatter the parmeson (and a few small knobs of butter if you like) over the top, replace the lid and leave to become oozy/creamy ( few minutes).
  11. Once the cheese and butter(if using) have melted, stir well and serve.


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