If the sound of making a risotto from scratch sounds a little too daunting, we might have a glorious solution for you – using risoni instead of arborio rice! With chunks of tender chicken, sweet balsamic roasted tomatoes and leafy baby spinach, it comes together in one pan (without all the stirring) for a comforting bowl of goodness that feels like no work at all.
Always read product labels for the most up-to-date allergen information. Visit hellofresh.co.nz/foodinfo for allergen and ingredient information. If you have received a substitute ingredient, please be aware allergens may have changed
tinned cherry tomatoes
vegetable stock powder
baby spinach leaves
Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press). Thinly slice the brown onion. Cut the chicken thigh into 2cm chunks. Zest the lemon (see ingredients list) to get a pinch, then slice into wedges. Drain the tinned cherry tomatoes.
TIP: Reserve the liquid from the cherry tomatoes to use in other meals, like a bolognese sauce!
In a large frying pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over a high heat. Add the onion and chicken and cook until the chicken is golden, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, lemon zest and risoni and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Carefully add the boiling water (2 1/2 cups for 2 people / 5 cups for 4 people), vegetable stock and the salt and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Bring the risotto to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the risoni is tender, 15 minutes.
While the risoni is cooking, pick and thinly slice the basil leaves. Finely grate the Parmesan cheese.
Stir the butter and grated Parmesan cheese through the risotto until almost melted. Add the baby spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes and stir to combine. Stir through a small squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
TIP: Seasoning is key in this dish, so taste and add more lemon juice, salt or pepper if you think it needs it!
Divide the chicken and cherry tomato risoni risotto between bowls. Garnish with the basil. Serve with any remaining lemon wedges.