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Jerk chicken leek risotto

This creamy and tender Italian risotto pairs perfectly with the spiciness of the jerk flavours. It’s a one-pan meal (if you don’t count the saucepan for heating the stock, but that’s neither here nor there as it requires zero effort to wash!) that’s amazing for a quick family dinner or even a fancy dinner party. 



Crispy Leeks (Optional Garnish)

  • 1/4 cup leek (white and light green part only), cleaned and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Neutral oil, for frying
  • Sea salt, to taste


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 leeks (white & light green parts only), cleaned, halved lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 splash white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, coarse, plus more to taste


Crispy Leeks 

  1. Toss leeks with flour to coat in a small bowl.
  2. Heat about one-centimetre depth of oil in your smallest saucepan over medium heat. Test to see if the oil is hot enough by placing one piece of leek in—if you see fast tiny bubbles coating the leek the oil is good to go.
  3. Add dredged leeks to the hot oil and fry for about one minute until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove and drain on a paper towel-lined dish—season to taste with sea salt and set aside to garnish the jerk chicken risotto.

Jerk Chicken 

  1. Combine the chicken bits with one tablespoon of the jerk seasoning and some salt so it’s well coated in a small dish. Set aside while you prep the rest of the recipe. TIP: if time allows, feel free to season your chicken up to 24 hours in advance.
  2. Heat the chicken/vegetable stock on high until simmering. Once simmering, reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  1. Preheat a wide, higher-sided saucepan over medium-high heat. (ie: 12-inch stainless steel rondeau with three-inch sides, but you can use any pan you have that’s roughly the same diameter with mid-height sides. The thing to consider is that the narrower the pan’s diameter the longer it may take to cook the risotto). Once heated, add two tablespoons of the olive oil, and once the oil is shimmering it’s chicken time.
  2. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan and sauté for five to seven minutes until browned. Transfer to a plate. Don’t worry that it may not be fully cooked – it goes back into the pan later to finish cooking with the rice (because of flavour). And those yummy, caramelized bits stuck to the bottom of the pan? Those are loaded with flavour too and will be incorporated into the risotto.

Leek Risotto

  1. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining two tablespoons of oil to the pan. Add the chopped leeks and sauté one minute until softened while stirring often with a wooden spoon. Add the rice and toast, still stirring, for two minutes.
  2. Add a splash of white wine, if using, and stir to incorporate. Otherwise, skip to the next step.
  3. Add the remaining teaspoon of jerk seasoning and a ladleful of hot stock to the rice. Stir to incorporate. Continue adding stock one ladleful at a time (roughly half a cup each), stirring to cook until each addition is absorbed before adding another. After about 15 minutes of this process, you may add the reserved chicken and any rendered juices to the rice. Keep stirring and adding stock for another five to 10 minutes until the rice is tender and creamy and the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Stir in the cracked black pepper and season to taste with sea salt and a little more jerk spice (if desired). 


  1. Garnish with crispy leek and serve hot. Enjoy! 

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