Mushroom Risotto with Zesty Chicken

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Brrr, it’s getting cold this time of year. Who doesn’t love a rich, hearty meal to warm things up a bit? And the best part, it’s fuss-free! This is my take on easy mushroom risotto. It’s thick and creamy and full of flavour. The chicken gives it a nice zesty kick for extra pizazz. Perfect for a winter weeknight.

Serves 4

Ingredients
Risotto
1 Brown Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
100g Butter
6 Field Mushrooms (approx 10cm in diametre)
500ml Chicken Stock
250ml Water
1 Cup Arborio Rice
150ml Cream
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley (Flat or Curly. I like the texture of curly but either is fine.)
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan
1/2 Lemon
Salt & Pepper
Chicken
2 Large Chicken Breast Fillets
1/2 Lemon
1 Garlic Clove
Salt & Pepper
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Chopped Fresh Parsley

Instructions

Chop the onions and garlic, and add to a large saucepan with 50g of the butter. Cook on medium heat until slightly transparent and yellow, but not yet browning. Slice the mushrooms into long strips (approximately 1cm thick) and add to pan with the remaining butter. Stir gently occasionally (be patient, the mushrooms will take a while to soften). Once the mushrooms are slightly softened and no longer white anywhere, add 250ml of chicken stock and cover.

Slice the chicken breast into long strips. Place in a bowl with the juice of half a lemon, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Make sure the marinade is coating all the meat evenly. (You don’t want to prepare this marinade any earlier than 30 minutes before cooking the chicken as the lemon juice will sizzle the meat.)

Add the remaining chicken stock and water to the pan. Bring to the boil then add the rice. Stir thoroughly then cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. May take more or less time depending on the size of your pan & the level of heat. Check readiness by testing the softness of the rice. If it’s still hard and drying out, add more water. Make sure as it begins to absorb the liquid that no rice gets stuck to the bottom of your pan.

Add the cream, 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, the juice of half a lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Leave uncovered and stir occasionally.

Heat griddle pan (a normal frying pan will work fine as well) with a small amount of oil over high heat. When hot, place chicken strips across, turning when golden brown strips appear (a few minutes if your pan is hot enough).

Risotto is ready to serve when cream has been absorbed and it appears thick and creamy, not wet and liquidy.

Dish up risotto, placing chicken on top and sprinkling with parmesan and remaining fresh parsley.

The perfect winter warmer. Enjoy!

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