Tonight’s dinner was the Hairy Bikers Chicken and Mushroom Risotto. It’s been literally years since I’ve had risotto. It’s one meal I really enjoy eating but it is such a pain to make. Not to mention it isn’t typically waistline friendly
either! So you can imagine I got excited when I saw this in the Hairy Bikers Hairy Dieters Book 1. I was also shocked to see it was only 317 calories per serving. I apologise in advance, because I’m still feeling rotten and cooking started quite late this evening, I didn’t remember to track the times on how long it took to cook. I can say though, it did take ages as risotto does.
During the week, I don’t start cooking dinner until Ian calls to say he is on his way home. Some nights this means we don’t eat until after 9pm if he leaves work late. I know some of you may be saying to eat without him, but I can’t. Something wired in me wont let me eat my dinner without him, big old sop over here. 7:30 rolled around and he still hadn’t called to say he was on his way home, so I decided I would do as much prep as I could. I was thankful for this later on and I would suggest to anyone making this recipe to prep ahead if you can!
The recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- 10g dried wild mushrooms
- 150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 litre boiled water
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 2 tbsp crème fraîche
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 25g parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 medium onion
- salt and pepper
- 150g arborio rice
The first step in the recipe is to put 100ml of the boiling water to soak the dried wild mushrooms. Well, guess who couldn’t find dried mushrooms – ME! I substituted this with 10g of baby button mushrooms. Because of this, I skipped the first step entirely as well as a further step that included adding these to the risotto. Let’s skip to the next step which was placing the chicken breast in a pan and simmer with the boiled water and chicken stock. The chicken is supposed to simmer in the stock for 10 minutes and then sit out to cool slightly while the risotto cooks. I started this process while I moved on to frying off the mushrooms.
I put the mushrooms in a large frying pan with the olive oil as requested. Yes, you read that right. I used oil. After a few minutes I added in the onion and garlic and cooked those until golden brown. I had to keep telling myself it was okay to use oil. Not going to lie, it was freaking me out. If the recipe calls for it and is under 400 cals, you don’t argue do you? I then added in the arborio rice and cooked for a minute or so until it was translucent. I always get so nervous at this part because of how particular this rice is. It’s like a moody toddler, cook it ever so slightly the wrong
way and it throws its toys out the pram and doesn’t work.
Once the rice was translucent, I added in the first ladle of chicken stock. It was then I realised that the chicken was still simmering away. Oh well, next time I will wait a few minutes before starting the mushroom frying so that the chicken is out of the stock when I need it. By the time the first lot of liquid was absorbed by the rice, it was time to take the chicken out of the stock. I set the chicken to the side, grumbling about how small the chicken breasts had gone. Nothing worse than small breasts. I continued to add ladles of liquid until all of the stock had been added and absorbed by the rice. My days, this is the labourious bit. Again, like a toddler I had to stand there for a half hour stirring and watching it to make sure it didn’t misbehave.
Now that all the stock was in the rice, I added in the chicken and parmesan cheese. This cooked for a few more minutes to heat the chicken back up and ensure the cheese was incorporated. Once that was all cooked in, I removed
the pan from the heat and added in the crème fraîche. I can’t help but think of the South Park episode when Randy goes on a cooking binge and adds crème fraîche to everything. So I giggled away while mixing this into the risotto. The recipe then states to cover the risotto and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Really? It took me ages to make this and I have to wait even longer? I drank a cup of tea while I waited with apparently the most annoyed look on my face. I don’t think I would have minded much if it wasn’t already past 9pm.
Now I can actually say that this tasted really nice. I had a brief few minutes of taste return before it pissed off again. However, the book says this risotto serves 4. I would argue this and say it serves 3 at a push. I understand its to be low calorie and being the dish that it is, it would be a smaller portion. This portion was very small. Granted, it is filling but an hour later I’m starting to feel hungry again. I would suggest either serving this as 3 servings and adjusting the calories or make sure you have a healthy snack for after.