This is a great recipe for a weekday evening. I use organic chicken thigh fillets chopped into chunks here, but you could use breast or use pre cooked chicken. Ideal if you had a roast chicken at the weekend and have leftovers to use up.
You can use any kinds of herbs, we use fresh rosemary and sage as we have loads growing in the garden but you could equally use dried versions or just dried mixed herbs.
This is a nice one for young ones too (Finn loves it) as it’s lovely and soft and a great way to sneak veggies in. We would pulse it to make it softer in the early stages of weaning but now he’s fine without blending it as long as I chop the veggies fairly small!
Serves 4 (gluten and dairy free – unless you fancy some parmesan on top at the end!)
- 250g risotto rice
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- Veggies – I tend to use 1 carrot, 1/2 courgette and a couple of large florets of broccoli but have been known to swap these out for what’s around. Asparagus is lovely, as are peas and mushrooms. You’re aiming for around 4 large handfuls chopped into small pieces.
- 2 raw organic chicken thighs or breasts, chopped small (or use shredded cooked chicken)
- 750ml – 1 litreStock – we use a very low salt version suitable for kids by Kallo or Piccolo. You could use real vegetable or chicken stock here. Field & Flower do a lovely chicken bone broth with tarragon which works well. I make up 1 litre and add it in by bit, you may end up with a little leftover. I will use 1/2 water and 1/2 bone broth if using that.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Fresh sage – 4-5 leaves & 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves removed. All finely chopped
Salt and pepper to season at the table (we don’t add to food as Finn is to young for added salt)
- You’ll need two pans, one for cooking the risotto and one to keep the stock/broth warm on the side with a ladle.
- In one pan add your stock and bring it to a gentle simmer
- In a large pan heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan gently, add your risotto rice and over a low heat gently coat it in oil and stir for 2 minutes or until it’s a little translucent.
- Add 1-2 ladle of stock (it’ll sizzle) to the rice.
- Add your onion, leek and garlic and 1 more ladle of stock.
- The rice mixture should start to absorb the liquid – you are aiming to keep gently adding stock liquid every time it’s almost absorbed, being careful not to let the rice burn in the pan.
- Add your vegetable mix (whatever you are using) and more stock. Keep stirring!
- Add your raw chicken if using – it will be pink and you’ll see it turn white. Keep adding stock and stirring.
- Add your fresh herbs, more stock and keep stirring.
- It should take around 20 minutes for the rice, vegetables and chicken to all be cooked and soft. The mixture will likely take almost all the stock but it depends on the vegetables you use.
- The risotto should go quite viscousy and thick as it’s nearly done. I usually try some of the rice before I finish cooking to check it’s soft and not hard to bite.
Season well with salt and pepper at the table. You can use some grated parmesan on top if you wish to give it a lovely rich flavour.