|350g / 12oz Italian risotto rice
|2 medium onions
|450g / 1 lb chicken breast and /or leg meat
|100g / 3½oz peas (frozen or fresh)
|40g / 1½oz fresh grated parmesan cheese
|1 sweet red pepper
|850ml / 1½ pints chicken stock
|1 glass white wine
|25g / 1oz butter
|3 tablespoons olive oil
|Pinch (about 10 strands) saffron strands
|1 to 2 teaspoons yellow food colouring (see Cook's Notes above)
|2 medium garlic cloves
|Salt and pepper to taste
See our article on saffron by clicking here. Saffron will only give a very slight yellow colour to rice. Professional cooks get the yellow colour by adding yellow food colouring. If you use this, add it slowly bit by bit until you have the yellow colour you want. If you add too much the rice will go a very garish yellow. Bit by bit is the way to do it.
It's best to break up the saffron strands into bits. The easiest way is to heat it for 20 to 30 seconds in a pan on a medium heat to crisp it slightly. Then use a fork to break it up. Watch out though, it jumps around even when slightly crisp!
Recipe by David Marks.
Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan, add the chicken pieces and cook on a medium heat until the chicken is cooked through. This should take about five minutes.
Stir the chicken whilst cooking to ensure it's evenly cooked. When done, place the chicken to one side.
Add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and turn the heat to low. Add the onions, garlic and sweet peppers.
Fry at a low heat for 10 minutes stirring the ingredients frequently. The idea is to soften the onions and peppers without burning them.
When the ingredients are softened, add the cooked chicken and fry for a further two minutes.
Now add the risotto rice and fry for another two minutes stirring constantly. Make sure the rice is coated with the olive oil. Add the wine with the saffron in it. Stir the risotto.
Now add the butter and parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir well for 30 seconds. Remove the risotto from the heat and leave it to stand (covered with a lid or plate) for two minutes. Serve the pan to the table and let everyone spoon out as much as they want onto their plates.