Risotto is one of my favourite things to cook myself for dinner. Its easy, cheap, tasty, filling, comforting - the list of reasons why I love risotto can go on and on.
This is my basic recipe and it can be easily changed if you want to swap ingredients or make more portions etc.
To make 1 portion you will need:
150g of Arborio risotto rice
3/4 white or chestnut mushrooms depending on how big/small they are
100g of chicken breast, diced
75g of bacon, diced
1 litre of chicken stock
A splash of double cream (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
Begin by preparing the chicken stock. Dissolve a chicken stock cube in about 1 litre of boiling water. You probably won't need all that stock but its best to make it just in case and plus I think the flavour of the risotto is better if the stock isn't too strong.
Heat a good glug of olive oil in a medium sized frying pan. Dice the mushrooms and add to the pan and stir so they absorb the oil. It might look like there a lot of mushrooms but they shrink quite a lot during cooking. Add the bacon to the pan and stir, making sure nothing sticks to the bottom. You shouldn't need any more oil but if it starts to stick add a touch more. Leave to cook until the mushrooms and bacon is cooked and then add the chicken. When the chicken is cooked through, add the rice to the pan and stir.
I'm afraid its fairly boring from here. Add a splash of stock and stir until its nearly absorbed and repeat. It takes about 20 minutes of adding stock and stirring but the end result is definitely worth it! Its important to add the stock slowly because the rice absorbs the liquid slowly and if the rice is cooked but there is still a lot of liquid in the pan to be absorbed, the rice with over cook and it basically won't taste nice. Before its fully cooked, stir in the pepper and herbs, and if you want to add more then go for it! Keep tasting while cooking to avoid adding too much stock - the rice will be nice and soft when its done.
Once cooked, I added a splash of double cream because I had some in the fridge that needed using up and I'm glad I did! It was even creamier than usual and that is not a bad thing in my opinion.
As I've said above, I love risotto. Its just so yummy and there are so many ways to alter it. I guess main thing to take from my recipe is the method - fry the additional ingredients, add the rice and stir in the stock slowly.
Many people (strangely) don't like mushrooms and one of my friends (very strangely) doesn't like bacon so if you don't want to include them then red onion or peas can be a good substitute for mushrooms and sometimes I like to add a spoonful of sundried tomato paste or parmesan once the rice has cooked for extra flavour.
Either way risotto is one of my favourite meals to have after a long day of studying and I hope you find my basic recipe useful!