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A bowl of creamy risotto

Chicken and Leek Risotto

Naturally gluten and dairy free, learn how to make this healthy and creamy chicken and leek risotto that is flavour packed and nourishing! There are no shortcuts, keep stirring to achieve the creamiest risotto!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken risotto
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 512kcal
Author: Genevieve


  • cup arborio rice or other short or medium grains (note 1)
  • 400 g /14oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2.5cm/1inch cubes
  • 1 leek quartered lengthways then finely sliced
  • 7 cups hot chicken stock (note 2)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese (note 3)

Sauteed Mushrooms

  • 400 g /14oz mushrooms button, portobello, all okay
  • 1 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • In a large, heavy-based pan, saute chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Remove chicken into a bowl once browned and almost cooked through.
  • To make the sauteed mushrooms, add olive oil, garlic and mushrooms in the same pan. Saute on medium-high heat until mushrooms caramelised and nutty. Remove mushrooms and set aside.
  • Again, in the same pan (note 4), sweat leeks with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, a minced clove of garlic. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly until leeks are soft. About 5 minutes.
  • Add arborio rice, lightly toast the rice by constantly stirring on medium heat for 1 minute.
  • Now, reduce heat to low. Add 1 cup of hot stock into the pan, stir constantly until the stock has been fully absorbed before adding the next cup of stock. (note 5) Repeat until all of the stock has been absorbed. This will take about 18 minutes.
  • By now, the risotto should be creamy and soft on the outside yet slightly firm on the inside. Stir browned chicken into the risotto, including its juices (flavour!)
  • Continue to stir the risotto until chicken is cooked through, taste and adjust for seasoning. This will take about 3 minutes. If the risotto is a little too thick, add a little water to loosen.
  • To serve, top with sauteed mushrooms and lots of parmesan cheese!


Note 1. Arborio rice is starchy medium-grain rice, widely available and perfect for making risotto. Substitute: carnaroli (aka "caviar of rice" what chefs use for risotto and not easy to come by) other medium or short grain rice although they won't achieve the same level of creaminess (not as starchy). Steer away from long-grain rice such as basmati or jasmine. They don't have enough starchy goodness that we're after.
Note 2. Always use hot chicken stock and not cold! Cold stock will extend the cooking time. The pan will have to reheat every time more stock is added. 
Note 3. Freshly grated parmesan cheese trumps store-bought ready grated ones. Packet grated parmesan cheese from your supermarkets contains anti-caking agent. This means they won't melt fully into the risotto as well as grating at home. 
Note 4. Continue to use the same pan without washing. The bottom of the pan would have accumulated caramelised bits from chicken and mushrooms. This is extra flavour for the risotto. Just be careful not to burn anything otherwise it'll be extra bitter flavour for the risotto... and nobody wants that!
Note 5. Let stock become fully absorbed before adding more. Your cue is when the rice is getting all sticky and about to start sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Taste the risotto along the way. Just like cooking pasta, adding salt at the end will be too late! Make sure the risotto is seasoned enough. Especially if using salt reduced stock or broth.
Never rinse the rice beforehand! Rinsing or washing the rice before cooking is great if you want to make rice for sushi or this flavour powerhouse Chinese Sausage Fried Rice. But not when you want to make a creamy risotto. Washing will get rid of the starch.
Use a heavy-based, wide pan to ensure even simmering and allow plenty of room for the rice to move around in the pan. This will help maximum release of starch and thus creaminess.
Reheating. To reheat on the stove; mix in extra water or stock to help loosen it up. If reheating in the microwave, make sure to cover before turning it on. High risk of spitting.
Freezing. Lasts up to 4 months in the freezer, stored in an airtight container. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @Casuallypeckish or tag #casuallypeckish!


Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 66.1g | Protein: 26.5g | Fat: 17.5g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Potassium: 449mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 3.7g | Iron: 5mg