Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chicken & Cashew Risotto

risotto, silver fork, white plate and polka dot placemat
Corelle Enhancements Dinner Plate (c/o World Kitchen)

Anyone who thinks cooking isn't exercise has never made a risotto. With all that stirring, it certainly is a workout, but in my experience, this comforting, creamy rice dish is always worth it. This particular risotto recipe has chicken in it, so you'll want to be up to the task cause the stirring is a little bit more tough, but it's so delicious you'll be glad you soldiered on when it's plated and ready to eat.


A quick bit of advice... The smaller you chop the chicken, the easier it will be to stir, so chop it up small and make life easier on yourself. Furthermore, don't be afraid to draft a friend to take a stirring shift if you need to... There's no shame in asking for a bit of help and it's vital that you don't get tired and lazy enough to start adding in more stock before it's time. When the risotto is done, there's nothing left to do but sit back, enjoy and congratulate yourself on a job well done. For a really delicious experience, enjoy this risotto with a lovely, cold glass of your favorite dry white wine.

risotto, parmesan cheese and basil

Ingredients
60g unsalted butter
1 shallot
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
350g skinless, boneless chicken breast (finely chopped)
350g aborio rice (risotto rice)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
300ml dry white wine
1.25 litres hot chicken stock (plus more if needed)
125g cashews or cashew pieces
Salt & pepper to taste
Knob of butter
Fresh Parmesan cheese shavings, freshly ground black pepper and chopped fresh basil to serve


Method
1. In a large pan or cast iron casserole with a lid, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the shallots in the butter, stirring occasionally until they start to soften and look slightly translucent. Take care not to burn them.

2. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes or until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the lemon zest and the rice. Stir and cook for a minute or two before adding the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Season with salt & pepper and mix well.


4. Tip in the chicken and gradually stir in the wine before adding 1 ladleful of hot chicken stock. Stir continuously until all of the liquid is absorbed into the rice before adding more. Continue this process with one ladleful of chicken stock at a time until all of the stock has been stirred into the rice.

5. Reduce the heat to low, pop the lid on the pan and simmer the risotto for 20 minutes until the rice is tender and the liquid has all been absorbed, stirring occasionally. If the mixture is getting too dry, add a little more chicken stock.

6. Stir in the knob of butter and the lemon juice and then stir in the cashews.

7. Remove the risotto from the heat and serve in warmed plates, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper, chopped fresh basil and parmesan cheese shavings.

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