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Chicken and pea risotto

Chicken and pea risotto

Arguably the most traditional risotto, yet never fails to please! Pancetta adds extra flavour to this dish. The risotto reheats well and is perfect with the simple rocket and shaved parmesan salad. With its uncomplicated flavours, this is ideal for a family dinner

Like the Leek and Mushroom Risotto, all the stock goes in at once, so nice and easy…and yes, I do love a good risotto!


6 cups of chicken stock, warm (a 1 litre tetra pack Campbell’s stock is 4 cups)

1 medium onion chopped finely

1/2 to 1 cup white wine (optional)

1.2 kgs of skinless, boneless chicken thighs sliced longways, approx. 2 cms wide

2 cups Arborio rice or other suitable risotto rice (I simply use one full packet of Delmaine Arborio which is 500gms)

80-100 gms of flat pancetta – you can buy this at some New World stores or from Farro Fresh. Picture below of what it looks like. You can use streaky bacon as a substitute

1-1.5 small packets of frozen peas- if you love peas, go the 1.5 packets!

2 tbs olive oil

1 tbs butter

1 cup shaved parmesan

1/3 cup of grated parmesan

1 packet rocket

Handful of Italian parsley for garnish, finely chopped


Cooking instructions

  1. Bring stock to the boil in a covered saucepan, turn heat off and leave until needed
  2. Looking at the picture below, cut the pancetta crossways in half and half again, so you should have lots of strips about 4cms long
  3. In a non-stick frypan, drop a small amount of olive oil and on low-med heat, gently fry the pancetta until crispy– it should take about 2 mins. Remove and place on some handee towel
  4. Heat the rest of the oil in a large frypan on med heat and cook the chicken for 6-7 mins until browned and cooked, turning occasionally
  5. Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a heavy based large pot and gently cook the onion and garlic until soft (if you enjoy risotto, it is worth investing in a large risotto pot).
  6. Add the rice and stir on high heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly (called "toasting"). If using wine, add and then let evaporate
  7. Add all the simmering stock all at once and bring back to the boil.
  8. Turn down to simmer, cover and cook for 15 - 18 mins - check and gently stir once or twice during this time
  9. Add the chicken, peas and pancetta to the pot and continue cooking for around 2 mins
  10. Season to taste, not forgetting cracked pepper. Add the grated parmesan and stir in. If you want to make the risotto creamier, you can also add the butter and/or more olive oil
  11. Serve onto plates, garnishing with the chopped parsley
  12. Accompany with simple salad of rocket and shaved parmesan

Serves 8