Friday, September 14, 2012

Risotto with Roasted Summer Vegetables & Chicken

I call this tummy-soothing yet flavorful dish "Italian comfort food." If you have leftover roasted vegetables and leftover cooked chicken, you can make this simple risotto recipe. The risotto itself is just my basic risotto recipe, to which you can add whatever "extras" you like: Cooked shrimp, toasted pine nuts or other nuts, dried or fresh chopped herbs, sun-dried tomatoes or halved grape tomatoes, cooked spinach or other greens, grilled asparagus or other vegetables, and more.

The chicken broth gives the risotto a richer flavor and creamier mouth-feel than water, but you could use water or vegetable broth if you prefer. You could even substitute a half-cup of white wine for an equal amount of broth. The starch in Carnaroli rice doesn't dissolve as much during cooking and thus this type of rice produces a creamier risotto, while the more easily dissolved starch in arborio rice will result in a "stickier" texture. Use whichever type of rice for risotto you prefer or have on hand.

Without further ado, here's my recipe for risotto, served with roasted vegetables and chicken.

Carnaroli Rice 2.2 lbs
Carnaroli rice
1 Tbs butter
1 cup carnaroli rice*
3 1/2 cups (approx.) chicken broth (I use homemade)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (use the real stuff)
1 cup (approx.) roasted vegetables of your choice
3/4 to 1 cup (approx.) coarsely chopped or shredded cooked chicken
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional: dried or chopped fresh herb(s) to taste (I used dried thyme)

*You could probably substitute arborio rice - I happened to have carnaroli on hand.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until well-coated and fragrant. Stir in 1 cup of broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly to a low boil and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the broth has been absorbed. Add another half-cup or ladle of broth and cook at a low boil or simmer, stirring frequently, until mostly absorbed. Repeat this process, adjusting the cooking temperature as needed to keep at a low boil or simmer, until the rice is creamy and reaches desired tenderness--I used a total of 3 1/2 cups of broth, allowing the final batch to absorb fully. Reduce heat, stir in the cheese, then stir in the vegetables and chicken. Taste for balance and season with salt, pepper & herbs as desired, then cook for a minute or two, stirring regularly, until heated through. Serve immediately (makes 4 to 6 servings).

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.

PS: The vegetables shown in the photos and used in this recipe are leftovers from my Roasted Summer Vegetables recipe.

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