Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chicken and Cheddar Cheese Risotto

Wow, I cannot believe how fast this summer is going.  Sadly, I've not been posting as many recipes as I would like, but it seems that I've been much busier than expected.  In addition to the many vacations I had planned, Jeff and I also moved into our new house, and just in time to celebrate our 7 year wedding anniversary.  It was a wonderful present to ourselves, but its meant a lot of unpacking and arranging things; a task that's proven to be much more time consuming then one might expect (we're still not done). It has been well worth it though because I absolutely love it here!  And the kitchen is everything I could want!

As I mentioned above, Jeff and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary in July and in order to help us celebrate I decided to take advantage of "my", even though it's "our", new kitchen and make a nice romantic dinner (I'm not really one for going out to eat, even though Jeff always offers to take me).  Jeff and I both love risotto, and I don't make it too often, so I decided to give this recipe a try.  I ended up altering it a bit from the original though by incorporating chicken pieces, however, adding the chicken was a personal preference (for some protein) but is something that could always and easily be eliminated.  Either way you choose to make it, the meal will still taste fantastic!

Chicken and Cheddar Cheese Risotto

Servings: 4
2 chicken breast, cut into 1 inch (or smaller) pieces
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 scallions chopped, plus a little extra for garnish
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup white wine
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
4 cups hot vegetable stock
1 ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet, over medium-low heat.  Add in the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.  Next, add in the chicken pieces and cook until done.  Remove the pan from the heat, and cover the chicken to keep warm.

In a deep pan, melt together the butter with the vegetable oil.  Place the scallions in the pan and allow to cook, making sure to stir frequently until softened; this will take about 2-3 minutes.  Next, add the rice, stir around, and continue to cook for another minute or two.  Increase the heat to a medium-high and add in the white wine and mustard.  Continue to stir around until the wine is completely absorbed.

While constantly stirring, pour the vegetable stock into the pan, one cup at a time, continuing to add more, only after the previous cup has been completely absorbed by the rice.  Cook the rice until it is al dente.  (This whole process will take about 20 minutes or so of constant stirring.  It’s important to be patient and let the stock fully absorb before moving on.)  Once ready, add in the cheese and chicken pieces, and stir together until the cheese has completely melted.

Scoop into serving bowls, garnish with a little extra cheese and scallions, and enjoy!

Source: Adapted from The Curvy Carrot


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