One of the nice things about risotto, I think, is that you can really change it up however you want - or to use whatever you have on hand. No broccoli? Use asparagus or peas. Vegetarian? Leave out the meat - it'll still be great! I also love how colorful it ends up - no boring white rice here!
The one thing I wouldn't change is using freshly grated or shredded parmesan cheese. Really, the grated stuff in the green jar isn't going to cut the mustard this time.
Chicken, Ham & Broccoli Risotto
olive oil spray
2 small chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
4 oz. fully cooked ham, diced
1 large broccoli crown, chopped into florets
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. chopped chives (I used dried)
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp. butter
1/3 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
Sprinkle basil and chives over chicken. Spray a large saute pan with olive oil spray and add chicken to pan over medium heat. Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside.
To the same pan, add 1 c. arborio rice. Pour in about 1/2 c. chicken broth and stir to mix. Continue stirring every 30 seconds or so to help the rice absorb the liquid. Continue adding 1/2 c. chicken broth, stirring until fully absorbed each time, until the rice is tender and plump. (You may not use all the broth.)
While rice is cooking, steam broccoli until tender crisp.
When rice is plump and tender, stir in 1 Tbsp. butter. Add cooked chicken, ham and broccoli and heat through. Just before serving, stir in parmesan cheese. Add salt & pepper to taste, if desired.