#CookalongFriday – Cheat’s Risotto, serves 6(ish)

Everyone knows risottos are difficult to cook, time-consuming, need you to slave over the stove adding just a little stock and letting it absorb into the rice before you add the next few mil.  Bollards, Ron. Bollards.  When you’re cooking for kids you don’t have time to do difficult, time-consuming and slaving over the stove. You need quick, simple, fire-and-forget cooking.  So, cheat!

No photos this week – risotto really isn’t camera-friendly!


  • 300g risotto rice. Worth getting the right stuff as long-grain just doesn’t cut the mustard here.
  • Roast chicken.  Half a breast’s worth
  • Ham. A couple of slices of. The thin-cut stuff for kids sandwiches is perfect.
  • Leek or onion. 2 leeks or 1 large onion, cut into fairly thin slices
  • Butter. Some.  Not a lot.
  • Chicken (or veg) stock. 2 pints


  1. Put a large saucepan onto a medium heat, add the butter and fry the leek/onion for a couple of minutes.  Enough to start to soften it.
  2. Add in the ham, give it a good stir, fry for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add the rice, give it a good stir, fry for a couple of minutes (there’s a pattern here)
  4. This is where I differ from the traditional risotto…  Add all the stock and stir.  Turn the heat down a notch or 2.  Put the lid on.
  5. Put 20 minutes on a timer and go do something with the kids. Or if they’re at school, clean a couple of bathrooms.  Whenever you pop back into the kitchen because you’ve forgotten something, give it all a stir.
  6. When the 20 minutes are up, add the chicken and stir again.  Season to taste.  Let it cook for another 5 minutes and you’re done.

Okay, so it’s not the most authentic or traditional recipe, but it’s a winner with my crowd.  On a good day I can comfortably use the entire pack of rice (500g), scale up the leek and meat, use a really big pan and make a stack of baby dinners as well.  Usual response to this is by the time I’ve finished serving all 7 of us, at least 1 of the kids has already finished bowl 1 and is asking for seconds.  And thirds.

All credit for this shortcut to the recipe goes to my wife who misread a risotto recipe. We’ve not bothered to correct it since.  But all credit to those who do these things properly. You’re an inspiration to the rest of us.  And speaking of chefs who do things properly, head across to Reluctant Housedad and see what he’s got on offer today.

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One response to “#CookalongFriday – Cheat’s Risotto, serves 6(ish)”

  1. this is a favourite of the whole family, and is honoured to be one of the few dishes my mother in law will eat more than a table spoon of.

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