Friday, February 25, 2011

Chicken Risotto

Rich, creamy and oh, so good. That's the only way to describe this risotto. Plus, my variation has chicken in it and a vegetable (which is optional) so it's a complete dinner. Perfect!

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!

Chicken Risotto

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.
*Note: Most people are afraid to make risotto because they feel like they have to "watch it" constantly and stir it all the time and granted, most of that is true, but it's really not that stressful. Just keep an eye on the rice while it's simmering and DO NOT let it absorb ALL the liquid. Just remember to add more broth before it gets to that point. And honestly, you're only standing near the stove for like 20 minutes. Breathe, relax and think of how good the risotto is going to be when it's done and how good you'll feel having done all that "hard" work. :)

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!


  1. I had mushroom Parmesan risotto at a rehearsal dinner a couple of years ago and loved it. I've never been brave enough to try it. I'll have to give this recipe a shot :-)

  2. Bekki, this risotto could easily be turned into mushroom parmesan. Just omit the chicken, and saute mushrooms (of your choice) in oil instead (and obviously leave out the other vegetable). Remove the mushrooms, then cook the rice and them add them back to the pot along with the parmesan at the end. I love mushroom risotto, but my family hates mushrooms so I never get to eat it :(. Good luck!