Chicken and pancetta risotto

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes


100g (31/2oz) pack pancetta slices, roughly chopped
25g (1oz) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
300g (11oz) Arborio risotto rice
900ml (11/2 pints) hot light chicken stock
250g (9oz) asparagus, woody stems removed and cut into 5cm (2in) lengths
200g (7oz) roughly chopped roasted chicken
4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
25g (1oz) finely grated Parmesan


1 Heat a large non-stick shallow pan and add the pancetta. Cook for just two minutes until golden and beginning to crisp. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set to one side.

2 Add the butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until very soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for a minute or so. Add a couple of ladles of the hot stock and start stirring while the mixture is gently bubbling. Once the stock has almost been absorbed add some more, stirring as you go.

3 After 10 minutes, stir in the asparagus and continue simmering and adding stock for another 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and heat through for 2 minutes until piping hot and the rice is just tender. Check the seasoning and stir in the parsley. Allow to sit for a minute or so before serving with a little grated Parmesan.


You may find that you need a little more stock than suggested to get the right texture with your risotto. If you feel you need more simply add a splash of boiling water or a glug of white wine!

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