Although I'm all French, I swear I should have been born Italian because I love Italian food. Don't get me wrong, I love French food too--rich, hearty meals, decadent desserts and of course, bread and cheese, but my heart belongs to Italian food. I would love to visit Italy some day and enjoy their culture and food. It would be the best 20 pounds I would ever gain!
2 T margarine/butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut up into bite sized pieces
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups Aborio rice
1 T dried parsley (can use fresh, but use 2 T finely chopped)
5-6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced-fat parmesan cheese
1 cup cooked green vegetable--optional (i.e. petite peas, baby broccoli florets, cut up asparagus, etc.)
Heat chicken broth in a large sauce pan over low heat. Do not boil.
Cook vegetable (if using) according to your preference, then drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a dutch oven, heat butter or oil over medium heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until completely cooked through. Remove chicken to a bowl, reserving juices and left over oil in pot; set aside.
Add the onion to the pot and cook until soft, over medium-low heat, about 4 minutes. Add the wine to the pot and heat to a simmer. Add the rice and parsley and let simmer for a couple of minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.
Then add about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of hot broth to rice and let simmer, uncovered, until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Continue to add broth to the rice and let simmer, stirring occasionally. You'll use most of the hot broth in the sauce pan. Once rice looks plump and is tender, after about 20 minutes or so (It's OK to try a little bite of it....don't be scared to!), add about 1/2 cup more of broth and then add the parmesan cheese, chicken and vegetable (if using) to the pot. Check seasoning--it's important--and add more salt if desired. Heat for about 5 minutes and then turn off heat and let rice sit for a minute before serving. Enjoy!