Chicken Risotto

Chicken Risotto

As most of you know I am in deep chef love with Emeril.  He was my first chef love.  Still at the top of my list, but now joined by a few more chef’s that melt my food heart.

Tom Douglas, one of our local celebrity chefs and James Beard award winner, captured my food heart about 10 years ago when I moved to Seattle.

I’m terribly starry-eyed about our local food hero, and because I think him brilliant, I mentioned Chef Douglas in one of my recent seafood classes.  It just so happened that one of the students attending the class works for Chef Douglas and his culinary empire.

Chicken Risotto

So of course I gushed a little more and asked the student to please pass along a sincere “hello” and I have a “chef crush on you” from Karista’s Kitchen. 🙂

A few weeks later, the lovely young lady sent me a signed copy of my favorite Tom Douglas cookbook.  I gushed all over again and now it’s proudly displayed on my shelf of favorite cookbooks.  Thanks Jessica!

Of course my starry-eyed self has continued on the admiration wagon with several local chef’s.   Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Ivan Szilak of The Collections Café  at the new Chihuly Glass and Garden exhibit in the Seattle Center.

A lovely visit to Chihuly Glass and Garden and The Collections Cafe

His delightfully seasoned and seared octopus was melt in your mouth decadent, not to mention the perfectly prepared seared Ahi Tuna sliders and Seattle’s Beecher’s fried cheese curds with red tomato jam.  Exquisite!

Ranger Craig and I sat in unusual silence (I’m quite chatty) most of the dinner, unable to speak due to the sheer culinary delights.  Thank you Chef Ivan (and Mr. Ron Sevart!) for a most divine culinary experience.

Chicken Risotto, adapted from Elizabeth David

When thinking about a recipe for this post, I contemplated calamari or maybe even a seared tuna.  But because Suzie Q keeps requesting risotto, and I have leftover grilled chicken in the frig, I thought this the perfect recipe for today.

Elizabeth David is one of my favorite cookbook authors and her style is relaxed and straight forward allowing for the most stress free cooking.  This is the way I cook at home.

A wine glass of this, a teacup of that, a drizzle of this, a dash of that and a most delicious meal has been created.  Little fuss, lots of love and large on flavor.  For this recipe however, I’ve broken it down into more exact measurements but feel free to improvise as much as you like.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!


Chicken Risotto (adapted from Elizabeth David’s Chicken Risotto)

Serves 4 generously


2-3 cups of diced cooked chicken

1 small onion, diced

a clove of garlic, minced

1 small red or green pepper, diced

a tablespoon or two of butter

Fresh chopped herbs, about 1 tablespoon (I like thyme, Italian parsley and oregano in this dish)

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

1/2 cup white wine

4 – 6 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups risotto

4 ounces or so of prosciutto, coarsely chopped

2 tomatoes, diced (optional, I have one daughter who likes the tomatoes and one who doesn’t)

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


Pour hot water over the dried porcini’s and let them rest for about 15 minutes.  Once they are nicely plump and soft, drain them and dice.

In a large heavy bottom pan or stock pot melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onions, peppers and garlic until wilted.  Then add the risotto and saute for a minute longer until the rice is nicely incorporated.

Add the white wine and fresh herbs and stir.  When the wine is absorbed begin adding 1/2 – 1/3 cup stock at a time, gently stirring until the stock is absorbed.  Continue this process over medium heat until the rice is done, about 20-30 minutes.  I  like my risotto creamy, not stiff, so I usually add a little extra stock at the end of cooking.   This will make it easier to fold in the additional ingredients.

Stir in the parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.   Then gently fold in the porcini mushrooms, diced chicken, diced prosciutto, and tomatoes.

Serve in individual bowls or serve family style.  This is a lovely one dish meal but can also be served with a salad of fresh greens tossed in a citrus or light vinaigrette.



  1. mountainmamacooks says:

    This risotto looks divine and I love this story! I got the chance to eat at two Thomas Douglas restaurants when I visited in May and I can see why you’re so smitten with him. I just might need to look into getting one of his cookbooks!

    • Thanks Kelley! 🙂 Let me know if you can’t find his books and I’ll send you one. His style is casual, lots of flavor but not too many ingredients. And of course his crab cake recipes are the best.

  2. This looks delicious, Karista – risotto is one of my very favorite dishes, for exactly the improvisational reason you mention. It’s so great to make for guests because it’s no worse for the wear if you pour guests some wine and get distracted while it slowly cooks on the stove! I’ve never tried a version with chicken, but it’s up next!

    • Thanks Jess! Although I really like my risotto rather plain with cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil, it really does make a lovely “put your leftovers” in dinner. LOL! I’ve been known to add all sorts of things to risotto. Leftover roasted veggies, pesto, grilled and roasted pork and even some leftover beef roast. Risotto purists will probably cringe when they read this.

  3. Oh Karista, this is divine! On my list this week to make. I haven’t been to the Collections Cafe yet, but that’s on my list too! Gorgeous post and photos friend!

  4. Lovely ingredients in this dish 🙂

  5. I love the story about Tom Douglas! That’s so cute. 🙂

    • 🙂 Thanks Emmy!! I would have liked it if Chef Douglas had delivered the book himself but maybe someday I’ll actually meet him in person. And Emeril too!

  6. Sometimes it is a very small world. What a happy surprise for you. You risotto looks creamy and dreamy. Take care, BAM

  7. You had me at risotto — it looks soo good. BTW, I love the new blog look (sorry if I haven’t noticed, I’m a bit behind on things) 🙂

  8. Colleen Simmons says:

    So luv risotto ~ bummer of a question from my neck of the woods but since I”ve got arthritis so bad I can’t stir the cups of broth [lol….can hardly lift the pans] anyway I think I am going to try this and after adding the wine & reducing….putting all the liquid in …. put the top on and in the oven…….might not work but just the reminder of risotto and luving it makes me want to try…….any suggestions? BTW am so tickled for ya with the signed cookbook….and your luv for chef’s all over……..they really appreciate it I’m sure!!

    • Colleen, my friend Suzie left a comment earlier mentioning she’s heard of people making risotto in the slow cooker which might work for you. Also, I do make risotto in a pressure cooker on occasion… when I’m not enthused about standing and stirring for 30 minutes. 🙂 I think this would also be a great option. And of course popping it in the oven would also be a good idea. I haven’t prepared it this way but please do let me know how it turns out. Have a lovely rest of the weekend!

      • Colleen Simmons says:

        Thanks tons ~ I’ll report back & you and yours have a great ‘rest’ of the weekend as well!

  9. Have you tried making risotto in a slow cooker? Some people swear by it and I’ve been meaning to give it a try. Evidently you mix everything except the Parmesan and cook on high about for 2 hours. The results are supposed to be comparable without all of the work. I love risotto, but let’s face it, it is a commitment…

    • Hahaha! So true Suzie! I haven’t tried it in the slow cooker but I do make it on occasion in the pressure cooker. It works nicely just not quite as creamy as if I had stirred for 30 minutes.

  10. It is really nice to recieve a signed book from one of your favorite chefs and then meet another 🙂
    I love risotto, it is one of my favorite comfort foods and yours looks amazing

  11. I love your photo of the museum!

  12. I love the story, and I love the dish! (Unsurprisingly, I have also been re-reading Elizabeth David’s Summer Cooking). It looks wonderfully hearty yet lighter than most risottos, making for a perfect summer meal.

    • Thank you! I love risotto plain, or with a drizzle of truffle oil or diced ham, or even with a pesto of sorts, but this one just seemed perfect for a summer risotto and my mounds of leftover chicken. LOL!


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