Surprisingly, regular long-grain rice works in this risotto, which would probably be a shock to purists, who always use arborio rice.
You can use as little as 4 cups or as much as 6 cups broth in this recipe. If don't like a runny risotto, use the smaller amount. If you like your risotto soupier, you'll need to add more broth.
The only trick to risotto is to stir it constantly. This stirring action roughs up the rice as it cooks, forcing it to release starch into the liquid, which thickens the risotto to give it the characteristic creamy and velvety texture.
When I first made this recipe about 20 years ago, I couldn't find arborio rice so I just used long grain rice instead. I think it's just perfect. Even though I can now find the Italian short grain rice, I still prefer this recipe! To me, arborio rice has the slightest grainy texture. I prefer the ultra smooth texture that ordinary long grain rice provides.
Serve this easy and classic recipe with a nice green salad tossed with some cherry tomatoes and sliced mushrooms. A glass of white wine or iced tea is the perfect complement.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups uncooked regular long grain rice
- 4 to 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried basil or thyme leaves, if desired
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Cut the chicken breasts into 1 1/2 inch pieces and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
- In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes until tender, stirring frequently.
- Then add the chicken pieces to the saucepan, and cook and stir until the chicken begins to brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the rice, and stir to coat. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Add 1 cup chicken broth to the saucepan, and cook until liquid is reduced, stirring constantly.
- Continue to add the chicken broth to keep the rice covered in liquid, stirring frequently. Make sure that most of the liquid is absorbed by the rice before you add more. The total cooking time should be about 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
- Add the basil, cheese, and butter to the saucepan just before serving and stir to melt.
- Cover the pot and let it stand for five minutes off the heat, then serve immediately.