I recently had an amazing thing happen. My 9th grade teacher contacted me through my blog! Her daughter shared my blog with her…and she has been reading it for the last month. And a couple days ago when I posted the photo of myself in my new apron, she realized it was me! She told me that she always knew writing was something I was meant to do, even if back then I believed I was going to be the next biggest shoe designer since Christian Louboutin (P.S. Mrs. M, you never know! That could still happen!). In 9th grade, I thought Mrs. M hated me. I was convinced of it. Mrs. M was all about the classics. She made us read through the entire play of Romeo & Juliet out loud in class, and every week we had to turn in our essays and I would always be scolded for writing so casually. Or using “parenthesis” in the wrong places. I still do that. I also still write casually. And better yet, now I get to use this nifty little baby. Oh lord, I can just imagine how she would have brought out the red ink if I had tried to pass that off in my essays!

So thank you so very much, Mrs. M, for making me pay attention and stop passing notes. Thank you for being harsh on me and making me learn proper grammar. It truly has all paid off, even if I thought you were lying. Which, turns out, the Calculus teachers were lying. I never use that crap in real life. I do get paid to write. But I sure don’t get paid to find out what x equals! Please feel free to pass on that helpful hint next time you have a staff meeting.

Now while I wanted to do a post for Mrs. M, I also had to make it for me too. So I found a recipe that combines a classic with a twist. Instead of classic risotto, we have Herbed Risotto with Chicken and Caramelized Onions. This particular recipe does not require as much continuous whisking as most risottos. I actually changed up the recipe quite a bit from the original. By changing up the actual process, this recipe could now very easily be served as a 30 minute week night meal! The flavors of this dish truly reminded me of traditional comfort food, but in a dressier setting. I would be happy to serve this at any dinner party! It also reheats pretty well. It made so much Jorge and I ate lunch for the next two days from it!

 

Herbed Risotto with Chicken and Caramelized Onions

Yield: 6 servings

Recipe Note: To save yourself time, you could easily use the meat from a rotisserie chicken for this recipe!

Ingredients:

5 tbsps butter, divided
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
¾ tsp. garlic salt
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups Arborio (medium grain) rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 oz. grated Asagio cheese (about 1 cup)
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
Ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

Directions:

Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to a medium sized pan set over medium heat then add the sliced onion. Allow the onion to cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and caramelized. While this is all happening, continue on with the rest of the risotto. If they finish before you are ready to add them later in the recipe, just remove the onions to a plate and set aside until you are ready.

Add 2 more tablespoons of the butter to the Dutch oven still set over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice to the pan, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Combine the 2 cups of water and 5 cups of chicken stock in a large bowl. Stir 5 cups of the broth mixture into the rice. Bring the rice and broth mixture to a slight boil. Once a slight boil has been reached, cover and reduce heat to a medium-low simmer. Continue cooking until almost all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, 16-19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.

Add ¾ cup of the hot broth mixture to the risotto and stir gently and constantly until the risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Stir the shredded chicken and caramelized onions into the risotto with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, parsley, and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add up to ½ cup of the remaining broth mixture to add moisture and loosen the texture. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Cook's Illustrated May/June 2010