Simple Chicken Risotto

This risotto is the result of a few ingredients lying unclaimed in my fridge and pantry and the need for a simple weekend meal. I had bought the risotto rice over a year ago and had to use it up before the expiry date. I was really pleased with how simple yet delicious it turned out to be! Risotto is a typical Italian preparation made from rice and stock to which vegetables, meat or fish may be added. Since I had some homemade chicken stock and some boneless chicken in the fridge I decided to go ahead and make something really quick and simple. 

This is one recipe you can count on when you don't really have a lot of time. All you need to do is throw in the ingredients together and check on your one pot meal every now and then. 

However, the addition of cheese makes this a calorie rich dish but you can decide how much of cheese to use. You can alter the flavours by making it less 'cheesy' and more 'garlicky' if you got what I mean! I overcooked the rice slightly as my kids enjoy it that way, but do remove the pan from the heat when the rice is just cooked and the grains are still intact and haven't gone all mushy. This is totally upto you. 

Simple Chicken Risotto
Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 15 mins | Serves 3-4

To garnish
1. Wash the rice in a couple of changes of water and keep aside.
2. Wash, drain and then cut the chicken into strips. Marinate with salt, pepper and a few dried herbs and keep aside for 10 minutes, then shallow fry them till the chicken is tender. You can leave the chicken in bite sized chunks or shred it to bits.
3. Heat the butter and oil together a large wok - keep the heat on a medium low to avoid the butter from burning quickly.
4. Toss in the minced garlic and fry for a minute and then add the onions and fry till they turn translucent (pale pink).
5. Add about 4 cups of the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Add the washed rice, half of the cheddar cheese, half of the sour cream, a good sprinkling of the mixed herbs and salt & pepper to taste.
6. Reduce the heat to a medium low and cook for 15-16 minutes, stirring in between. If you like the risotto to be grainy then you need not add more stock, otherwise, top it up with some extra stock.
7. Add the shallow fried chicken and the rest of the cheddar cheese and sour cream and cook for another half a minute. Remove from heat.
8. Garnish with the mozzarella or parmesan cheese, pepper if desired and the fresh herbs. Serve hot.

1. I used homemade chicken stock which was made with boiling a kilo of chicken parts (spare pieces available in the supermarket) with 3 litres of water, 1 large onion, 2-3 garlic cloves, 1 chopped carrot, and peppercorns. You can use readymade stock or even use plain water in which 2 stock cubes (bouillon) have been dissolved.
2. Arborio or risotto rice is available in most well stocked supermarkets in India and abroad. It resembles the Indian boiled rice but is whiter in color in comparison to the boiled rice which is pale/creamish. 

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