Creamy Pancetta & Chicken Risotto

This was born because I am so easily influenced by good food marketing. One Saturday afternoon, Pete and I decided to pop into town and have some lunch at Carluccio’s. As it turned out, September is a month of mushrooms and they had these great table talkers up-selling mushrooms and their Porcini infused olive oil (which apparently works great in risottos), so OF COURSE I had to buy it and scrap previously planned dinner and make risotto from scratch.  

So many people tell me that they don’t know how to make Risotto or never made one because it looks complicated. I disagree, all you need is a bit of patience and time. So below is easy and straight forward recipe of this creamy goodness. The amount below will make enough for 2 people (no seconds):

  • 300g Chicken (I used boneless thigh meat), finely chopped
  • 75 Smoked Pancetta, diced
  • 100 Mixed Wild Mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 200g Risotto Rice
  • 0.5 litre Chicken Stock
  • 1 glass Dry White Wine
  • 100g Grated Parmesan
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Chilli Flakes
  • Porcini Oil (optional)
  • Patience


  1. Boil the kettle and make up your Chicken Stock.
  2. Heat up a large pan and fry Pancetta for 5-6 minutes until it’s crisp.
  3. Toss in crushed Garlic (you’ll be picking it out in a few minutes, so don’t lose it), and add your chicken and a tiny bit of olive oil. There will be a lot of melted fat from the pancetta and if you use thigh meat it’s bound to have some residual fat.
  4. Pick out the garlic.
  5. Once the Chicken is cooked, throw in the Mushrooms and add a sprinkling of Chilli Flakes. Fry for a few minutes.
  6. Toss in the Rice and stir the meat through. Pan fry rice for a minute or two till it slightly changes colour to golden.
  7. Pour in the Wine and let it bubble away, it will take a while. Make sure you keep stirring so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  8. Once all the wine has evaporated, it’s time for Chicken Stock. This is the bit where you need patience (and maybe another glass of wine in your hand).
  9. Use a ladle or pour in your stock bit by bit and stir carefully on a medium heat until the rice soaks it all up. Add a good pinch of salt.
  10. Don’t add any stock until the previous bit has soaked in. Continue doing this until you use up all of your stock. This will take 15-20 minutes. Try the rice, it should be cooked but have a bit of a bite in the middle. If it’s not cooked, add a bit of boiled water and keep stirring.
  11. Add a tablespoon of Porcinni Oil (if using) and stir through.
  12. Take the pan of the heat.
  13. Now, my favourite part – grated Parmesan. I know that 100 grams is too much for these amounts but you won’t regret it, trust me. Add the cheese, stir it through, cover with a lid and leave to stand for 2 minutes.
  14. Serve with a fresh salad and a glass of sour American Brett or a glass of White Wine.


Anya xx



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