If you have ever tried to make risotto you know it is a long process. Typically, you must constantly stir the rice while it absorbs all the liquid of your broth – which could take 30-45 minutes – STIRRING CONSTANTLY – who has time for that? NOT ME.
From Cook’s Illustrated, I found this recipe that is very easy – a novice cook can make this delicious, creamy dish – you still need some patience, but it is not labor intensive. Let me know if you try it.
Ingredients needed: Serves 6-8
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of water
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves, each cut in half, crosswise
4 T. Unsalted butter
1 Medium Leek finely chopped (white and light green parts only)
3 large garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 oz. Grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 t. Lemon juice
2 T. Chopped fresh parsley (it is important to use fresh parsley, not dried)
2 T. Chopped fresh chives (not dried)
1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, completely thawed and squeezed of excess moisture
1. Mix all of broth and water in a large saucepan. Heat to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and maintain a gentle simmer.
2. Heat about 2 T. of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat, till just about to smoke. Add chicken, skin side down, cook without moving until brown (4-6 minutes).
Flip chicken and cook other side till evenly browned, 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to saucepan containing broth/water mixture and cook until it registers 165º in the thickest part of the meat. Once temp is reached, transfer chicken to a plate to rest. DO NOT THROW OUT THE BROTH, YOU WILL USE IT.
3. Add 2 T. of your butter to now, the empty dutch oven. Set to medium heat. Once butter has melted, add leek and 3/4 t. Salt; cook, stirring frequently, until leek has softened but is not brown (4-5 minutes). Add garlic and stir until fragrant (30 seconds), You should really be able to smell this wonderful aroma.
Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around edges, about 3 minutes is all this should take.
4. Add wine to deglaze the pot, stirring constantly, until completely absorbed by the rice (2-3 minutes). Stir 5 cups of the warm broth into the rice (you will still have some broth left over); reduce heat to medium-low, cover, simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed and rice is just al dente, 16-18 minutes, stirring twice during cooking. I use my stove timer for this. Make sure to come back and stir at least twice during this session. Rice should not need more than the 18 minutes.
5. Add 3/4 cup of the leftover warm broth to the risotto and stir gently and constantly until risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and spinach. Remove pot from heat, cover and let it stand for 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, remove and discard skin and bones from chicken, shred meat into bite-size pieces. After risotto has sat for 5 minutes, add chicken to rice and gently stir in, along with 2 remaining tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, parsley and chives.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If rice seems too thick, gradually add any residual broth to reach your desired texture.