Chicken and Fennel Risotto with Vermouth

cook 20 mins
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel head, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 chicken breast, about 150 g (5 oz), finely sliced into small strips
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, roughly crushed
  • 200 g (7 oz) easy-cook risotto rice
  • 3 tablespoons vermouth
  • 600 ml (1 pint) rich chicken stock
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
  • rocket, to garnish
  • Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy-based frying pan and cook the onion and fennel, stirring occasionally, over a moderately high heat for 5 minutes or until softened and golden in places. Add the chicken and fennel seeds and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add the rice and vermouth to the pan. Increase the heat for a few seconds to burn off the alcohol, stirring continually, then add half the chicken stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, at a moderate heat until almost all the stock has been absorbed, then add the remaining stock and continue to cook in the same way for about 10–15 minutes, reducing the heat to a simmer until the rice is tender and cooked but still with a slight bite.
  • Serve in warmed serving bowls with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan, a small handful of rocket on top and warm crusty bread, if liked.
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