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Lemony Chicken Risotto Under Pressure

One of my favourite things to make in my Instant Pot is risotto, which surprises nobody more than me. I have always railed against any recipes that claim to result in a creamy, rich risotto that ditches the need to stand in front of the stove, glass of wine in hand, and stir for 20 solid minutes.
BAH! I said as I laughed in the face of the no stir, oven baked, microwaved risotto methods that were going to change my life.


Bah, indeed because pressure cooker risotto is that recipe. I remained doubtful until I got my pressure cooker cookbook from America's Test Kitchen. Cook's Illustrated is like my bible and I use it to reference everything from recipes, methods and ingredients to products. They test the hell out of everything so we don't have to and they explain why what they did works so well so when they assure me that risotto cooked in the pressure cooker is amazing, I am pretty much obligated to try it.

So, fast forward to today and I haven't made risotto in a pan on the stove since I got this thing. In the end, it might still take about 20 minutes from start to finish (risotto takes closer to 30, from the moment you start to heat up the pan) but apart from sautéing your aromatics and rice and then a five minute stir at the very end, you can actually prepare other things and walk away for about 12 minutes in the middle while it comes to pressure and then cooks for SIX MINUTES.

The only thing that requires a bit of thinking is what you are going to add because most things will be overcooked this way if you add them at the beginning. I have tried adding frozen, shell in shrimp but the 6 minute cook time is too much for them so I have learned that they must be cooked separately and then added in or served on top.

This lemony chicken risotto with peas is one that works beautifully. The six minute cooking time works well with the meat and adding the frozen peas after you release the pressure so that they can just heat up during the final five minutes of stirring is all they need.

Lemony Chicken Risotto Under Pressure

serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

2 tbls olive oil
1 tsp truffle oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper
zest and juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup prosecco (or other sparkling white wine)
3 3/4 cup chicken stock (only 3 1/4 cup go in the pot and the rest is reserved for after if needed)
a sprig of fresh thyme
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tbls butter
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

Hit the sauté button on the pressure cooker and when it says "hot" add in the oils and sauté the shallot and garlic for a couple of minutes, to soften. Add in rice and toast the rice for another couple of minutes until it turns opaque. Now add in the red pepper and the prosecco and stir until most of the wine is absorbed, about a minute.
Salt and pepper the cut up chicken and add that to the pot, stir to combine and then pour in 3 14 cup chicken stock, the lemon juice and zest and lay the sprig of thyme on top. Seal the lid and program it for 6 minutes at high pressure.
When the time is up, do a quick release and remove the lid. Add in the peas and continue to stir for another 4-6 minutes, until the rice is cooked but still al dente and its nice and creamy, adding more stock a bit at a time if needed.

take the pot out of the cooker and stir in the butter and cheese, beating it into the rice with a wooden spoon.

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