Kale and broccoli risotto with chicken

Marina Carvalho
Feb 26, 2020

This is my go-to meal before a big training day or even before a race. The rice is a great source of carbohydrate (energy), protein from the chicken, micronutrients from the dark green vegetables (like IRON) and a bit of fat. There’s nothing funny that could upset your tummy (unless the chicken is dodgy, in that case, I’ll opt for vegetarian of fresh salmon) and pretty easy to digest. 



- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- 2 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup arborio/ risotto rice
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 1 bunch washed and chopped kale
- ½ head broccoli, cut into small florets
- 20g grated parmesan
- 1 tbsp butter

- This recipe serves two.


To make the risotto:

1. On medium heat, add the onion and garlic to a deep saucepan with the vegetable oil and sweat gently until soft
2. Add the rice and stir for about a minute before adding the wine. Stir until all the wine has cooked down and the rice is completely dry
3. Next, add just enough stock at a time to cover the rice and keep stirring vigorously until all of the stock has reduced down
4. Repeat the process until the rice is cooked but left with a little ‘bite’ in the center. This means that it is not cooked through completely
5. Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir in. Add some stock if the risotto gets too dry


In a frying pan:

1. Heat some vegetable oil and fry the chicken, seasoning with salt and pepper
2. Add the kale and broccoli and fry for a couple of minutes until just cooked. Season with some salt.
3. Stir into risotto, taste for seasoning and add the parmesan just before serving



- You can substitute the chicken for salmon 
- To make a kale sauce, add the kale to a pot of salted boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and then add to a blender. Blend on high speed with a dash of heavy cream/ plain yogurt to form a sauce. 
- Add the kale sauce to the risotto after the stock has been added and the risotto is almost cooked through.
- The more you stir your rice when cooking, the better your risotto is going to be. This process breaks up the starch and gives the risotto that thick texture. 
Written by
Natia Van Heerden