Sunday, January 23, 2011

Risotto with Roasted Chicken and Caramelized Onion

I love risotto. For me, it's an easy, usually one pot, dish to throw together that has some really nice flavor combinations going on. For others though, it may seem a little labor intensive, with all the stirring and adding liquid and stirring again every few minutes. When I first started making this butternut squash risotto a few years ago, I would pull up a chair right next to the stove and have a book handy to read in between all the stirring. Trying to make dinner with kids running around screaming and pulling on my leg the whole time, well now that's a different story.

I had not made risotto in quite a long time and when I saw this recipe, I really, really started craving it. Roasted chicken and caramelized onions, it all sounded like a wonderful flavorful combination to me. Another wonderful thing about this recipe is there's a little less hands-on time. Most of the stirring is in the beginning and the end, so during the major cooking time in the middle you are free to do other things.

I like that risotto typically calls for a few splashes of white wine/cooking wine, I think it develops the flavor really nicely. This recipe called for a little more than I've usually seen but I went with it and I think it turned out great. Feel free to substitute additional chicken broth in place of the wine if you don't use it.

Herbed Risotto with Roasted Chicken and Caramelized Onion
Olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of sugar
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1-2 cups roasted chicken, shredded (I used this leftover chicken)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups Arborio (short grain) rice
1 cup white wine/cooking wine
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley (about 1 Tbsp. dry)
2 tbsp. minced fresh chives (about 1 Tbsp. dry)
Ground black pepper

Add a small drizzle of olive oil to a 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, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the onions to a plate and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken broth and water and bring to a simmer. Keep warm.

Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a Dutch oven set over medium heat. 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. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the Parmesan.

Stir the shredded chicken and caramelized onions into the risotto with the butter, parsley and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Source:Adapted from Annie's Eats

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