Risotto Diaries #2 – Lemon Chicken Mushroom Risotto

Welcome back to my risotto diaries, part 2!

My lemon chicken mushroom risotto is dedicated to my grandfather in Switzerland, he is my risotto teacher and ‘THE’ risotto master. Having eaten risotto at countless restaurants and homes I have never come across one which tastes as great as his. Thank you Grandpa 🙂

Did you know that rice is a member of the grass family? Risotto rice (or Aborio rice) is very high in starch and this is what makes the risotto ‘creamy’ without actually adding any cream.

So far, this lemon chicken mushroom is probably my favorite homemade risotto. I am still searching for a flavor I might like better.

Always remember two important tips when making risotto. NEVER wash the rice as the starch is important to keep the rice creamy. Secondly, only ever use hot broth when cooking, adding cool or cold broth will only prolong cooking time.

I like to marinate the chicken overnight as it ends up tasting softer and a lot more moist. If you are pressed for time you may marinate the chicken 3-4 hours before cooking.

Remember: If you ARE marinating overnight, do not add the lemon juice until the next morning as the juice will naturally ‘cook’ the chicken, add the juice a few hours before cooking time. If marinating a few hours beforehand, disregard this tip.


To Grandpa with LOVE…
Lemon Chicken Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4

  • 50g butter
  • 2 medium white onions & 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 250g short-grained Italian rice
  • 100ml dry white wine or verjus
  • 1 litre chicken stock, alternative: beef stock tastes wonderful too
  • Fresh mushrooms, dried mushrooms and bottled mushrooms
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt & pepper
  • 8 chicken fillets
  • Rosemary
  • 6 garlic cloves crushed
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Step 1

To prepare the marination, whisk together olive oil, chopped onions, garlic, pepper, salt and rosemary. Coat and immerse the chicken in the marinade. Seal and place in the fridge overnight.

3-4 hours before cooking, generously add juice of one lemon to the marinade. Seal again.

I like to use a plastic bag to put the marination and chicken in which is then sealed to lock in the flavor overnight.

Step 2

Chop up the onion, garlic and mushroom. Boil water and pour over the dried mushrooms. Set aside.

Step 3

Heat up a large pan and add two knobs of butter. Once hot, sauté the chopped onion and garlic in the butter until soft and translucent.

Step 4
Add the rice and stir until the butter has coated it well. Next, add the white wine and stir constantly until it has been completely absorbed and begins to dry. You should be able to distinctively smell the wine evaporating.

Step 5

Turn the heat down to medium low and begin to add the broth in ladelful increments, stirring regularly. Add the mushrooms, black pepper, some salt and continue adding broth and tasting regularly until the risotto is slightly firm to the bite.
Add parmesan cheese throughout this process to create an even creamier texture.

General cooking time is between 25-30 minutes. Once it has been cooked, remove from heat and stir in remaining cheese (if desired)

Step 6

Pan fry or pan grill the chicken fillets evenly on both sides and serve with the risotto once done.


Prep and chop all the ingredients in advance. It will be extremely difficult to stop stirring and to chop up the ingredients. Risotto requires a lot of love and attention!

To know when you should add more broth, lightly draw your spoon (which should be wooden!) across the bottom of the pot. You should be able to create a space with your spoon.

Add the broth in intervals, only adding more as soon as it has been completely absorbed.

Taste, taste, taste! That’s the key! Do it frequently as the cooking time can vary!

Run out of broth? Not to worry, just add hot water. If it needs more flavoring, add a pinch of salt or chicken bouillon powder/cubes.

3 thoughts on “Risotto Diaries #2 – Lemon Chicken Mushroom Risotto

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