This gluten free Chicken and Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto is a delicious, wholesome meal with so much more nutrition than its arborio cousin. Dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan options below.
I first made this many years ago. A restaurateur friend of mine teased me about messing with a ‘classic.’ Once he tasted it he was grateful I dared to mess! You’ll notice it is quite different from a traditional risotto in that the rice is pre-cooked. It is easier in that you can precook the rice, prepare your meat and vegetables and it only takes 10 minutes to assemble and cook.
Why is it so healthy?
Try to use homemade stock. In combination with the shitake mushrooms, it provides a real immune boost. The brown rice is a fibre and vitamin B rich grain (especially if soaked prior to cooking). The chicken and mushrooms add protein and the vegetables speak for themselves.
A delicious, nutty Chicken and Mushroom Brown Rice risotto that's easier to make than traditional risotto and more nutritious.
- 10 gram dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large clove of garlic, diced
- 1-2 sticks of celery finely diced
- 500 gram of chicken thighs, diced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced (an assortment is nice, swiss brown, shitake, oyster)
- 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme or lemon thyme leaves picked
- 1 zucchini, julienned or ribboned
- Splash of white wine
- 2 cups of cooked brown rice
- 250 ml (1 cup) of chicken stock
- 1 cup of parmesan cheese (or half parmesan, half swiss cheese, grated)
- 1 cup of baby spinach leaves (optional)
- Handful of parsley, chopped
Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and just cover with a little boiling water. Set aside.
In a large non-stick pan, melt the butter over a low heat. Add the onion, garlic, and celery and cook with the lid on for a few minutes just to sweat and soften (not too brown).
Add the chicken and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the chicken just starts to turn opaque.
Remove the porcini mushrooms from the water, reserving the soaking water.
Chop the porcini mushrooms then add to the pan with the rest of the mushrooms, zucchini, and thyme leaves and cook for a few minutes until the mushroom starts to soften.
Add the rice and a splash of white wine, the reserved porcini liquid, followed by the stock and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often until the stock is almost all absorbed.
Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach and cheese. Once the spinach has wilted and the cheese melted through the dish, top with parsley and serve immediately.
Replace the butter with ghee or coconut oil and the cheese with cashew nut cream (savoury version).
Replace the chicken with an extra cup of mushrooms and a handful or two of walnuts. Replace the chicken broth with vegetable stock.
Use dairy free and vegetarian options.
I prefer this brown rice version more than regular risotto - do you agree? Post your thoughts in the comments below.