Creamy Chicken, Bacon & Pea Risotto

Me & Risotto are bessie mates, so much so that I can knock it out midweek with my eyes practically closed. It has a real reputation for being a tricky & difficult dish to make but it’s really, really not. It’s a little time consuming with all the stirring but that’s the only taxing part & it’s ready in just 20 minutes so really not that taxing after all! I get asked every time I post a recipe for risotto if you can use different rice or ordinary basmati rice and the answer is unfortunately no you definitely can’t, you need to buy the special risotto rice as the dish only works with a short grain rice, it’s all about the creaminess with risotto and other rices just don’t have the same starch content to create that effect. Arborrio rice is the most common risotto rice & it is widely available in all main supermarkets and it’s really not that difficult to source so good news there! This serves 2 at 9 Smartpoints or Macros 395Cal Protein 35 Carbs 54 Fat 4 
120g Arborio Rice (or similar risotto rice)

1 Chicken Fillet Diced

2 Lean Bacon Medallions Diced

2 Shallots Diced

1 Garlic Clove Crushed

About 1 Litre Stock made with a Chicken Stock Cube

Flat Leaf Parsley or Fresh Basil

40g Frozen Peas

Salt & Pepper 

Bring a medium pot of water to the boil on the hob & add the stock cube, stir until dissolved. Keep the stock on a low heat. Spray a separate large pot with spray oil and lightly fry the chicken pieces for 5 or 8 minutes until cooked, add the bacon pieces in for the last few minutes until cooked through. Remove the chicken & bacon from the pan and set aside in a bowl. Add the Rice and Shallots to the pan & gently fry for approximately 4 minutes or until the rice grains start to turn slightly translucent around the edges with a white centre. Crush in the garlic for the last 30 seconds before you start adding the stock. Add the stock in one ladle at a time and stir until all the stock has been absorbed before adding the next ladle (You will know the stock is absorbed when you drag a wooden spoon through the risotto it should stay parted for a few seconds). Add back in the chicken & bacon after the first ladle of stock has been absorbed and season with salt & pepper. Continue adding the stock a ladle full at a time, stirring as you go until the risotto is cooked this will take approximately 20 minutes. Add the peas in 4 minutes before it’s fully cooked. Don’t worry if you haven’t added all the stock you only need as much as it absorbs in the cooking time. Tear in the fresh herbs & stir through. Always rest your risotto before serving as this allows it to become creamier & absorb all the flavours just take off the heat & cover with a lid for 5 minutes before serving. You could stir through some grated parmesan before resting if you have extra points or macros to spare just adjust them accordingly, it really adds an extra oomph of creaminess. Enjoy.

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