Chicken Risotto

All too often, risotto is gluey and tasteless, but there’s no need for that to happen if you follow this recipe. using good-quality chicken stock is a must.

Serves 4


  • 1.2 litres (5 cups) White Chicken Stock
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 65g (5 tbsp) butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 450g (21⁄3 cups) Carnaroli rice or other Aroborio or risotto rice
  • 120ml (1⁄2 cup) dry white wine
  • 400g (14oz) chicken thighs, cut into 1cm (1⁄2 inch) pieces
  • 75g (3oz) streaky (fatty) bacon, finely chopped
  • 200g (3 cups) button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 120g (11⁄2 cups) Parmesan cheese, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • 50ml (1⁄4 cup) double (heavy) cream
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon


  1. Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring just to the boil. Reduce the heat and keep it at a gentle simmer.
  2. Put 3 tablespoons of the oil and 40g (3 tbsp) of the butter into a wide, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. When the butter has melted, add the shallots and thyme. Cook very gently for 45–60 seconds, until completely softened.
  3. Add the rice and stir well for 1 minute, ensuring it is glazed but does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Pour in the wine and continue slowly stirring the rice until the wine has evaporated.
  5. Start adding the chicken stock a ladleful at a time, stirring gently now and then, and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next one. (a) It is vitally important not to rush this process. Continue in this way until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is plump and tender – about 18–22 minutes. (b)
  6. Meanwhile, place the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. When hot, cook the chicken and bacon for 1–2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Fold the chicken mixture into the risotto, add the Parmesan and cream and combine gently. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining butter. Season to taste and serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese, if you like