Monday, March 7, 2011

Herbed Risotto with Chicken and Caramelized Onions

This was absolutely delicious. I really adore risotto but because it's time consuming and labor intensive, I either stick with ordering it at restaurants or making oven chicken risotto. However, I follow The Novice Chef Blog and she had this pretty simple risotto recipe featured recently that she swore was much easier and faster than a traditional risotto. So, I had to give it a try!

There was a (very recent) time in my life in which anything with onions would completely turn me off. I still don't like raw onions, or even remotely crunchy onions, but I've begun to see what the addition of onion does for a recipe. And I've found that carmelized onions are really, really good. Especially in risotto.

I made my own chicken stock awhile back and froze it so I just used that. If you don't have homemade stock on hand, just pick up the kind in the carton at the store. Also, since you don't have to stir it constantly, you can prep things along the way while it's simmering.

Jason typically finds rice to be overrated but he ate two bowls of this and claimed leftovers for lunch the next day. I call that a winner in this house!

Herbed Risotto with Chicken and Caramelized Onions
5 tbsps butter, divided
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups Arborio (medium grain) rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 oz. grated Asiago cheese (about 1 cup)
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
Ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I used a rotisserie chicken)

Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to a medium sized pan set over medium heat then add the sliced onion. Allow the onion to cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and caramelized. While this is all happening, continue on with the rest of the risotto. If they finish before you are ready to add them later in the recipe, just remove the onions to a plate and set aside until you are ready.

Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice to the pan, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Combine the 2 cups of water and 5 cups of chicken stock in a large bowl. Stir 5 cups of the broth mixture into the rice (leaving 2 cups for later). Bring the rice and broth mixture to a slight boil. Once a slight boil has been reached, cover and reduce heat to a medium-low simmer. Continue cooking until almost all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, 16-19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.

Add ¾ cup of the hot broth mixture to the risotto and stir gently and constantly until the risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the asiago cheese. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Stir the shredded chicken and caramelized onions into the risotto with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, parsley, and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add up to ½ cup of the remaining broth mixture to add moisture and loosen the texture. Serve immediately.

Note - I did use more than 3/4 cup of additional broth to make it creamy after I added all the onion and chicken. Just eyeball it.

Yields 6 servings

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