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.
I don’t know about you, but I cannot stand in the kitchen for 45 minutes, STIRRING CONSTANTLY!
Who has time for that? NOT ME.
After testing Cook’s Illustrated’s version of “Almost Hands-Free Risotto,” I can assure you, this process is much easier.
You still need patience, but it is not as labor-intensive.
Leeks are a great risotto accompaniment.
You do not have to add the chicken to this dish. Leave out the chicken and substitute warm chicken broth, instead of the poaching liquid.
One of my favorite meals is leek risotto under Chilean Sea Bass.
Ingredients for Risotto
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
Directions for Risotto
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.
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 the other side till evenly browned for about 2 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a 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.
Next, add 2 T. of your butter to the empty dutch oven.
Set to medium heat. Once the 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.
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 leftover); 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.
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.
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 the rice seems too thick, gradually add any residual broth to reach your desired texture.
Risotto with chicken and leeks
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves cut in half, cross-ways
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 leek, chopped use only white and light green parts
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine use something you would drink
- 2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley do not use dried
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives do not use dried
- 1 10 oz. frozen package of chopped spinach thawed and squeezed of excess moisture
- In a large pot, add all of the broth and water. Heat to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to medium so it maintains a gentle simmer.
- In a large dutch oven pot, heat about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil till it is just about to smoke.
- Add chicken to dutch oven, skin side down, cook without moving till brown, about 4-6 minutes.
- Flip the chicken and cook the other side till brwon about 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer browned chicken to the pot containing broth and poach till it registers 165ºF.
- Once chicken temp is reached, transfer chicken to a plate to rest.
- DO NOT DISCARD THE BROTH - you will use it!
- Add 2 Tablespoons of butter to the empty dutch oven pot.
- Put heat on medium. Once butter is melted, add the chopped leek and 3/4 t. of salt. Saute, stirring frequently until leek has softened, but not browned, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add garlic and incorporate it for about 30 seconds.
- Add rice and cook, stirring frequently until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes. You are actually toasting the grains.
- Add wine to deglaze the pot, stir constantly until the grains have absorbed all the liquid. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir 5 cups of the reserved chicken broth into the rice. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pot.
- Simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente. This should take 15-18 minutes. Stir the rice twice during this cooking time.
- Add 3/4 cup of the leftover warm broth to the risotto and stir gently, but constantly until creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in spinach and Parmesan cheese.
- Remove pot from the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 full minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove and discard skin and bones from the chicken. Shred meat.
- After risotto has sat for 5 minutes, incorporate the chicken by gently stirring.
- Add remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, fresh parsley, and fresh chives.
- Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Serve warm.