April 2, 2014
Risotto with Spring Vegetables & Chicken
We are craving Spring like crazy around here and lots of Spring veggies have been showing up in our dinners. Last week, I made this risotto not once, but twice. The first time I made it as a side dish and a few nights later I added chicken and it was our main meal. My kids love this stuff and I hear it makes delicious leftovers, but I wouldn't know for sure because no matter the quantity I make, they eat it all. On this particular night, it ended up sitting in the pot for an extra half hour after it was done cooking because my son's track meet ran late. It was still delicious.
Here's the recipe I used, but cooking risotto is definitely more of a technique, and it is great to use whatever vegetables appeal to you most at the grocery store (or you have sitting around in your fridge). I used asparagus and squash (green & yellow) in the risotto pictured. I also love mushrooms and peas in this dish but I was out of them that day.
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small onion, diced small
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
6 cups chicken stock
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, diced
2 yellow squash, diced
2 green squash, diced
1 bunch of asparagus, diced
3-4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Heat the chicken stock in a stockpot and keep it simmering.
2. Chop onion and garlic. Chop vegetables.
1. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and heat to medium high in dutch oven. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Add 1 Tbsp more olive oil and add onion. Cook about 3 minutes and then add garlic and rice and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. Keep everything moving around the pan so the garlic doesn't burn. Add the wine and allow it to reduce for a minute.
2. Add broth, one ladle at time. Continue stirring. When the rice absorbs most of the broth, add another ladle. Keep adding and stirring for about 25-30 minutes.
3. While you are adding the broth and stirring, sauté your vegetables in a sauté pan with a bit of olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. I prefer to cook the vegetables separately so they can maintain a bit of freshness and crunch. If cooked with the rice, they will be mushy.
4. Test your rice occasionally for doneness. Stop adding broth when it is nice and creamy and there isn't too much bite left in the rice. It usually takes about 25 minutes to get there. You may not need all of the stock.
5. Add cooked chicken and vegetables. Add butter and parmesan. Place lid on pan for 5 minutes and serve with a sprinkling of parsley or whatever fresh herb you have on hand (chopped chives are great in this too). Enjoy!