Thursday, August 15, 2013

Italian on my plate - Mushroom and Chicken Risotto

For a long long time Italian for me meant just Pizza and Pasta. Now when I think about it I feel such a fool that I have been. Risotto is something that I ate by chance and fell in love with. We would frequent the Sunday brunch in one of our favourite restaurants in Kolkata and just gorge on the thin crust pizzas.The steward there was the one who insisted that I try the risotto and it was then I realised that I had been missing out on a gem of a dish of Italian cuisine.I have been meaning to cook this dish for sometime now. However it kind of never worked out.The other day I made a conscious effort to put all the ingredients together and make it.There are many many variations of the risotto and just about anything can be added to it...seafood,veggies etc. I made it with chicken and mushroom as it brings out the flavours beautifully. The most essential ingredient here being the quality of the Arborio rice. The good news is it is easily available in the supermarkets. Rest of the stuffs are easily available at home...what is however crucial is patience! You need loads to it to be able to make the most delicious creamy risotto. I gave it a shot and it turned out great. Here's my recipe of Mushroom and Chicken Risotto


Arborio Rice - 1 cup

Butter - 2 tbsp

Olive oil - 1 tbsp

Red onion - 1 medium (very finely chopped)

Mushrooms - 1 cup ( sliced)

Boneless chicken - 1/2 cup ( chopped into tiny bits)

White wine - 1/4 th cup

Chicken/Veg stock - 2 cups

Cream - 2 tbsp ( I used Amul )

Parmesan cheese - for garnish

Salt - to taste

Pepper - to taste

Basil leaves - for garnish 

and loads of patience!


In a non stick pan add the butter and olive oil. Tip in the chopped chicken bits and saute till it changes its colour. Remove from heat and keep aside.

In the same pan saute the sliced mushrooms and keep aside.

Next tip in the finely chopped onions and saute till they turn pink. Now add the arborio rice.

Saute the rice for 2 mins and add the white wine. Once the wine cooks out add a ladle of the stock. The real process of cooking a good risotto starts now. We need to keep a constant eye on it. Adding a little of the stock every time the rice dries out. Gradually the creaminess of the rice will come by. 

By the time we finish adding 2 cups of the stock the rice will get cooked. It should not become mushy and must have a bite to it. Now add the sauteed chicken and the mushrooms. Also add the cream and give it a gentle mix.
At this stage check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as per your taste.

Serve immediately and enjoy and think of me!

PS : A few things to remember while making a risotto.
#Cook on low heat and stir constantly so that the starch released from the rice mixes well with all the ingredients to lend the required creaminess. 
#Most of the risotto recipes use celery.I didn't get it here and used red onions and it worked beautifully.The flavours were just awesome.
#Keep a constant eye and every time the water evaporates add a little more stock till the rice is al-dente so as to prevent sticking. 


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