Friday, February 4, 2011

Herbed Risotto with Chicken and Caramelized Onions

It is so hard getting good food pictures when the meal is in a bowl!

We have been super busy this week.  We had our small group come over on Tuesday so we didn't have time to cook dinner.  Beth brought some yummy snacks so I called that dinner.  Wednesday Alex and I went out to dinner to celebrate his business, Sit Means Sit North Metro, being open for 3 years.  Time flies!  I feel like it was just yesterday that he went to Las Vegas for training.  I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished in just 3 short years.  The next 3 years look promising and we continue to thank God for all the blessings he has brought our way.

With all that going on, I finally got to cook dinner at home last night.  I took the chicken out of the freezer to defrost earlier this week.  Once I found out I wouldn't be making it sooner, Alex threw them in the oven with some salt and pepper to bake so they wouldn't go bad.  This decreased the total amount of time it took to make this dish.

I love the taste of risotto, but I do not make it often because it takes my undivided attention.  I am a multi-tasker at heart so I have a hard time just standing in one place for close to 30 minutes just stirring rice.  I could get a lot of other stuff done in 30 minutes!  That made this the perfect recipe for me because you don't have to stand and stir.

I have a love/hate relationship with chicken.  I am over eating it this week, therefore, I did not add as much as the recipe called for.  I think it would have turned out great if you decided to omit it all together, but I needed a little protein so I put about 1.5 shredded chicken breasts into the mixture.



Herbed Risotto with Chicken and Caramelized Onions
Source:  Annie's Eats

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • pinch of sugar
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used regular because that is what we had in the pantry and it was not too salty)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts (I defrosted 2 and only used about 1.5)
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. salt (add this if you use low sodium chicken broth)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (we were out of fresh garlic which never happens, so I had to use jarred minced garlic, ~1 tbsp.)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp . freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
  • ground black pepper to taste
Directions:
Add 1 1/2 tsp. of the olive oil to large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced onion and sugar, stirring to coat.  Allow the onion to cook , stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and caramelized.  Remove the onions to a plate and set aside.

These guys made the dish.  They were delicious!

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine, the chicken broth and water and bring to a simmer.  In the meantime, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet used to cook the onions set over medium high heat.  Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Transfer the chicken to the heated skillet and cook, turning once, until each side is a light golden brown.  Remove from the heat and transfer the chicken pieces to the saucepan with the simmering broth mixture.  Let cook until an instant read-thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees or until cooked through (no longer pink).  Remove the chicken from the broth and transfer to the plate with the onions.  

Add 2 tbsp. of the butter to a dutch oven set 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.  Stir 5 cups of hot broth mixture into the rice.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al-dente, 16-19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.

Add 3/4 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 Parmesan.  Remove the pot fro the hat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  

Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Stir the shredded chicken and caramelized onions into the risotto with the remaining 2 tbsp. butter, lemon juice, parsley, and chives.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  If desired, add up to 1/2 cup of the remaining broth mixture to add moisture and loosen the texture.  Serve immediately.  

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