Creamy Chicken & Rice
(from “12 Tomatoes”)
2 chicken breasts, cut to 1-inch cubes
2 (14 oz.) cans low-sodium chicken or beef stock (more or less depending on preferred texture)
2 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup water, optional
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1-2 zucchinis, chopped
6 oz. Portobello mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a large saute pan or Dutch oven over high heat and add olive oil. When oil is hot, add chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
Add chopped asparagus, zucchinis and mushrooms and cook until just softened. 8 minutes. Set aside.
Melt butter in Dutch oven and add Arborio rice. Stir until rice is toasted and lightly browned, then return veggies and chicken to pan.
Lower heat to medium and add white wine. Cook until wine is almost evaporated, stirring frequently.1/2-2/3 cup at a time, add chicken stock, stirring frequently and replenishing liquids once mixture is dry enough that spoon leaves a track through the rice.
When chicken stock is completely absorbed, taste rice and see if it’s tender enough. Risotto should be thick, but still able to spread out a little. [You want it to be al dente, but if it’s too crunchy, add 1 cup water (a bit at a time). Adding too much will make your risotto gummy.]
Serve hot and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
This is a good recipe to start with. Add your own things that you like; I would use broccoli instead of asparagus, and I’d have to leave out the mushrooms as husband won’t voluntarily eat them. I have been know to actually run a can of cream of mushroom soup through the food processor and use it in a recipe. If he can’t feel the little pieces of mushrooms in his mouth, he doesn’t know they are there only in pulverized form.
I have discovered (at 68 years young!) cooking with wine. No, I don’t buy the “good wine you would want to drink” because I gave up drinking alcohol in 1983 for personal reasons, but I do buy cooking wine (I know, I know…) and use that in cooking now. It’s amazing what a 1/2 cup of white or red wine will do to so many dishes… like spaghetti sauce, for instance. Chicken dishes love white wine, as well. I use it all the time and just make sure the alcohol is cooked away.
Also, for this dish, I would use regular Jasmine rice because that’s the only kind I buy. I’ve never cooked risotto before and don’t intend to start now. Standing and stirring rice at the stove is not my thing. I have to cook sitting down these days, with a nice comfy stool, so I need recipes that can be prepared in short order… not long drawn out things.
Also, I would use pre-cooked chicken meat for this, and after everything else is prepared, I’d throw in the cubed chicken meat and let it simmer a while to soak up all the flavors.
That’s it for now.
Bex & Co.