• 1 large and 2 medium saucepans
• Measuring cup, measuring spoons
• Cutting board, cutting knife
• Garlic press or microplane
• Wooden stirring spoon
• 4 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
• ½ cup dry white wine
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• 12 oz. chicken breast, skinless and boneless, chopped into approx. 3/4” cubes
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 Tbsp. butter
• 2 cups Arborio rice
• salt and finely ground black pepper
• large pinch saffron (optional)
• 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Pour the stock into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, and keep the stock at a gentle simmer.
2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large pot and cook the chicken on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring, until lightly browned. Reduce the heat to medium low.
3. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until the onion has softened but not browned. Add the butter and stir until melted. Stir in the rice and cook for a further 2 minutes or so until the rice is well-coated in butter.
4. Add the white wine to the rice and cook gently, stirring, until absorbed. Add stock to the rice, one ladleful at a time, stirring until absorbed before adding the next ladleful. Once half of the stock has been used, season well with salt and pepper and add the saffron, if using.
5. Continue adding stock until the risotto is thick but not sticky, about 25 minutes. Bite into a kernel of rice to make sure it’s done: firm, but not still hard in the centre. Meanwhile, steam the asparagus in a covered medium saucepan with a little water and 1 tsp. olive oil, on high heat, until just tender when pierced with a fork. It cooks very quickly. Remove asparagus from the pan, and keep the cooking water.
6. Stir the Parmesan and asparagus water into the risotto, then gently stir in the asparagus. Remove from heat and let it rest with a lid on for 3 to 5 minutes before serving.
Adapted from: Risotto, by Jenny Stacey and Kathryn Hawkins (2000)