Quick, very simple to make and super tasty, this Easy Chicken and Chorizo Risotto is ready in under 30 minutes and only uses one pan. The perfect meal for busy weeknights!
A super easy way to make risotto
Risotto has a reputation for being tricky and time consuming… the good news is, this Easy Chicken and Chorizo Risotto is neither of those things!
The main reason for this is that I do not do that thing you are ‘supposed’ to do to make a good risotto – carefully adding the stock one ladleful at a time every few minutes. I just chuck all the stock in right at the beginning, once I’ve fried off the onions, garlic, chorizo, chicken and rice. And do you know what? It tastes just the same as the labour-intensive ladleful at a time version. I’ve tried it both ways on multiple occasions and you just can’t tell the difference!
All you need to do is remember to give this risotto a good stir from time to time – it’s the stirring that gives risotto it’s classic creaminess. Then when the rice is almost cooked, add in some parsley and frozen peas. Warm them through and you are good to go – all in under 30 minutes!
Tips for making a great risotto
Now, while we’ve established you really don’t have to stand at the stove lovingly ladling stock into your risotto, there are a few things you DO need to do if you want to make a really good risotto:
1. Always use risotto rice
Sounds obvious really, but you’d be amazed at the number of ‘risotto’ recipes I’ve read that tell you to use regular rice or ‘pudding’ rice. I’m not really sure why – it’s not like risotto rice is prohibitively expensive or hard to come by these days, but anyway… if you want to make a great Italian-style risotto, you need to use risotto rice. I prefer arborio, personally, but you can use carnaroli if you prefer.
2. Never rinse risotto rice before cooking
Please, please, please don’t rinse risotto rice before cooking. The whole point about risotto is it is rich and creamy… and that creaminess comes from the starch on the surface of the rice grains. If you rinse the rice, you lose the starch and your risotto will not be creamy.
3. Stir your risotto – but not too much
If you want your risotto to have that lovely classic creamy texture, you need to regularly stir your risotto. This will also stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan. HOWEVER, one of the biggest risotto mistakes is stirring your risotto too much… if you stir your risotto too much you will end up with a big mushy mess, not the classic silky and creamy texture risotto is supposed to have. I recommend giving your risotto a good stir every couple of minutes to get the best texture.
4. Don’t overcook your risotto
Another big risotto making no-no is overcooking it. While the overall texture of a risotto is creamy, you want the actual rice to still retain a little bit of ‘bite’ (AKA ‘al dente’). It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes from the time you add the stock to achieve the correct consistency. Again, if you overcook your risotto, you will end up with a big mushy mess!
Why no wine, cream or butter?
You may notice that I have not added any wine to this Easy Chicken and Chorizo Risotto… the reason is simple – I usually eat risotto midweek, and I only drink wine at the weekends… I am not going to open a bottle just to add one glass to my risotto! But if you want to add wine you absolutely can – just see the recipe notes for how to adapt the recipe to include wine.
I have also not added cream or butter to this risotto. This is partly to make this risotto a little bit healthier, but mostly because I really don’t think the combination of chorizo with butter and cream really works. But if you want to add butter or cream to this risotto – feel free!
Chorizo in a risotto, really?
OK, OK, I admit… chorizo is not a classic risotto ingredient! Chorizo is most definitely Spanish while risotto is most definitely Italian… but that should not stop you making a Chicken and Chorizo Risotto!
Chicken, chorizo and rice go famously well in paella, so why on earth shouldn’t they work just as well in a risotto?
And honestly it works really really well – it takes plain old chicken risotto to a whole other level.
Can you use leftover roast chicken in this risotto?
Absolutely! Simply shred the leftover chicken and add it into the risotto at the same time as you add the peas and parsley. Ensure the chicken is piping hot before serving.
What to serve with chicken and chorizo risotto?
Personally, I think this Easy Chicken and Chorizo Risotto is an entire meal in its own right and doesn’t really require any accompaniments, but if you want to serve this with a side dish, I recommend serving this with a simple green salad.
What to drink with chicken and chorizo risotto?
I recommend either a Sauvignon Blanc or lightly-oaked Chardonnay as the best wine matches for this Chicken and Chorizo Risotto. Alternatively, a crisp Italian white, like Soave, would work very well. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend red wine with this dish.
Can you reheat risotto?
Risotto really is at it’s best when it is freshly made… however, if you do end up with some left over, simply store it in a plastic lidded container in the fridge, where it will keep for 1-2 days maximum.
To reheat, place the risotto in a pan and add a big splash of water and stir to combine. Heat the risotto for about 5 minutes over a low-medium heat until the risotto is piping hot all the way through, stirring occasionally. If the risotto is too thick, add a splash or two more water, to loosen it up.
Can you freeze risotto?
Yes, you can freeze risotto. The texture won’t be quite as good as freshly made risotto, but it will still be perfectly acceptable. Make sure you cool the rice quickly and get it into the freezer, in a plastic lidded box, within 1 hour of when you finished cooking it. It will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Defrost the risotto overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Easy Chicken and Chorizo Risotto
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 100 g chorizo diced
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bitesize pieces
- 2 garlic cloves grated or crushed
- 300 g risotto rice (I use arborio)
- 1 litre chicken stock from a cube is fine (I use 1 Kallo organic chicken stock cube)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 100 g frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Grated Parmesan to serve optional
- Green salad to serve optional
- Fry the chopped onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large wide saucepan (lid on) over a gentle heat for 3 minutes until the onions are softened but not brown. Stir occasionally.
- Turn up the heat a little and add the chorizo and chicken. Fry for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Turn the heat down and add the garlic. Fry for 1 minute, stirring regularly.
- Add the risotto rice and cook for 1 more minute, stirring regularly.
- Add all of the stock to the rice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir thoroughly to combine.
- Bring the risotto to a gentle bubble, then turn the heat right down, but leave the lid off. Cook the risotto until almost all of the stock has been absorbed (roughly 18 minutes). Do remember to give the risotto a good stir from time to time, while it is cooking.
- Stir in the parsley and frozen peas and cook for 2 more minutes. By this time the rice should be ‘al dente’ – that is, it should be mostly cooked, but with a little bit of bite.
- Serve sprinkled with grated parmesan and a side salad, if you wish.
- If you wish to add wine to your risotto add 150ml white wine into the pan straight after you have added in the rice. Cook the rice in the wine for 1 minute and then add the stock (but reduce the quantity of stock down to 850ml.)
- If you wish to make this risotto with leftover roast chicken, simply shred the leftover chicken and add it into the risotto at the same time as you add the peas and parsley. Ensure the chicken is piping hot before serving.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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