Monday, August 25, 2008

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

This is a classic rice dish that lends itself to any number of variations. Instead of chicken or mushrooms, add steamed vegetables or seafood. It takes a little time to prepare, but it's not difficult and there's a huge payoff! It's SO worth the time and effort!

6 cups chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
extra splash white wine

In a sauce pot, warm the broth over low heat.
Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the onions. Cook 1 minute. Add rice and garlic, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, and stir in chicken, mushrooms with their liquid, butter, Parmesan cheese, parsley and an extra splash of white wine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

For added depth of flavor, use several different kinds of mushroom. Also, you can use shallots instead of regular onions, if you'd like. For extra richness, add a splash of heavy cream when you add the butter.
Be sure to use Arborio rice. Using regular rice won't work. It's the extra starch that make the dish rich and creamy.

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