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This chicken bacon risotto recipe for two people is decadent, cheesy, a little smoky, and absolutely delicious.
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4.81 from 21 votes

bacon, cheddar + chicken risotto

creamy, decadent, over-the-top risotto with smoky bacon, farmhouse cheddar cheese, and juicy chicken.  an ultimate comfort food for a cozy night in.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: risotto
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 532kcal
Author: sara a.

Ingredients

  • 2 strips thick cut bacon
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock best quality
  • 1 cup farmhouse cheddar cheese grated from a block
  • 6 ounces chopped grilled chicken*
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped chives finely chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  • Chop the bacon into small pieces, about 1/2" in size. In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and crunchy, then use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • As the bacon is cooking, warm a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chicken stock, let it come to a gentle simmer, then turn the heat to low to keep it warm.
  • In the same sauté pan used to cook the bacon, add the olive oil.  Add onion, and mix it into the olive oil and remaining bacon fat, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan into the onion as it cooks.  Add a pinch of salt to the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
  • Stir in minced garlic, and cook for about one minute until it is very fragrant. Pour in the arborio rice, and stir to coat the rice in the onions, garlic, and fats. Allow the rice to cook for about two minutes, or until only a small white dot remains in the center of each rice grain.
  • Stir in white wine, and cook for a minute or two as the alcohol burns off.  Once the wine has been mostly absorbed into the rice, add the warm chicken stock one ladle at a time to the rice.
  • As the rice absorbs the chicken stock, keep adding a ladle at a time.  Stir quite frequently, almost a constant, smooth, stirring motion, to help the starches of the rice release, which creates the chewy texture of risotto.  
  • Continue this method until the rice develops a creamy, thick texture. Taste the rice as you go to make sure it isn't too crunchy, and allow it plenty of time to become really creamy. This total process will take around 30-35 minutes for the rice to cook. Once the rice reaches al dente (still has just the slightest bite to it), add the cheese and bacon. Stir to melt in the cheese, and fully incorporate the bacon into the risotto.
  • Stir in the chicken. Taste the risotto, and feel free to add more salt and pepper if you please. You can also add more cheese if desired.
  • Serve on warmed plates, and garnish with finely chopped chives.  Enjoy with a glass of Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, or surprise yourself and pour some oaky Chardonnay! 

Notes

*I recommend seasoning a chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder before grilling it. Ideally, grill it while you're making the risotto, let it rest for at least 10 minutes, then chop (or shred) and add to the risotto.
*Alternatively, use shredded rotisserie chicken!

Nutrition

Calories: 532kcal