Broccoli smothered in cheddar was one of the few ways I truly enjoyed eating my veggies as a picky, annoying child. It’s a combination that has always stayed with me because broccoli cheddar soup is my favorite soup in the world. This time, I was inspired to put my beloved Italian spin on it and add some protein with this incredible chicken, broccoli and cheddar risotto!
Oh my goodness, this chicken, broccoli and cheddar risotto was creamy perfection. There was so much flavor and texture going on. The broccoli still had a slight crunch and the chicken gave it heft. Hubby went nuts for it! Hope you all enjoy this Italian, more adult take on classic broccoli and cheddar. xoxo
This chicken, broccoli and cheddar risotto is so loaded with flavor and texture! It seems fancy but it so comforting and easy to make.
- 1 head broccoli cut into bite sized florets
- olive oil as needed for drizzling
- salt as needed for seasoning
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenders diced small
- freshly cracked black pepper as needed for seasoning
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 1/4 cups arborio rice
- 3/4 cup beer
- 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- First, roast the broccoli. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Transfer the broccoli florets to a baking dish and give them a generous drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Toss it all together to coat the broccoli, then get the dish into the oven for 15 minutes. While it cooks, start on the risotto. Heat a dash of olive oil in a large skillet with deep sides over medium high heat. Heat the chicken stock in a small pot on low heat just to warm it up on the burner either next to or behind the skillet.
- Get the diced chicken into the large skillet and let it get completely cooked through and slightly golden on the outside for about 5 minutes. Remove it to a plate with a slotted spoon. The broccoli should also be done at this point, so take it out and set it aside. Then melt the butter in the skillet and add the arborio rice. Let the rice gently toast and absorb the rice for a minute, then add the beer. Let the rice completely absorb the beer.
- Now the patience comes in. Ladle in about 3 scoops of the warm chicken broth and stir it in continuously with the rice until it is completely absorbed. Keep repeating this until the stock is all used up and the rice is tender. It's important to keep stirring the rice as it cooks. The whole process will take about 20 minutes. Once it is done, turn off the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, chicken and broccoli. Let it all meld together and warm through. Season everything with an extra sprinkle of salt and pepper and give it a final stir. Scoop it into pretty bowls and serve immediately! Enjoy!