FOOD: Sundried tomato, garlicky mushroom and chicken risotto

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Risotto is a favourite in our household. Essentially a one-pot meal, this is full of flavour and easy to eat and grab on the go, given most of us have busy lives! The sundried tomatoes really add a depth of flavour that normal tomatoes just can’t give, and the parmesan cheese finishes it off with a yummy odoriferous smell, also creating a luxurious, creamy texture. This is a truly satisfying and flavoursome meal, perfect for these long, cold evenings. Enjoy!

PREP TIME:  7 MINS

COOK TIME:  30 MINS

SERVES:  6 PEOPLE

INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons butter
2 free-range chicken breasts
1 large leek, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
6 cups good-quality chicken stock
2 cups arborio rice
200ml white wine
4 tablespoons sliced sundried tomatoes
8 field mushrooms, cut into quarters
1/2 teaspoon chilli
Juice of one lemon
1/3 cup spinach

METHOD
1. In a large pot, heat the chicken stock till near simmering.

2. In a small pan, melt one tablespoon of butter, tip in the garlic and cook for a minute, until softened, before adding in the chopped mushrooms and sprinkle over the chilli flakes. Cook for 2-3 mins until softened and juicy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3.Meanwhile, chop up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and season well with salt and pepper.

4.Take a large pan and heat one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the chicken on a medium-high heat till a little golden and cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside on a plate.

5. Turn the heat down to a medium heat, add in 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan along with the leek and half the garlic. Cook for 3-4 mins, until leeks are softened but not browned.

6. Pour in the rice and stir thoroughly, coating the rice. Cook for 1-2 mins, until it starts to become a little translucent. Pour in the wine and cook until absorbed.

7. Next, gradually add the hot stock, a ladle at a time, making sure to stir until each ladle is absorbed, before adding the next.

8. Continue until the rice is just slightly firm to the bite, usually about 20 mins or so. Note, you may not use all the stock, or may need a little more if the rice is still a little firm.

9. Once the rice is nearly cooked, add in the chicken, lemon juice, mushroom, sundried tomatoes and cook until the rice is ready —it should be slightly firm.

10. Stir through the spinach until wilted then remove from heat. Stir through the remaining one tablespoon of butter and parmesan. Taste and season, if needed, then serve immediately with a nice fresh salad.