Saturday, November 16, 2013

Easy Chicken Risotto with Caramelized Onions

Last weekend my husband very graciously volunteered me to make a meal for one of our neighbors. Wasn't that nice of him? Just kidding, I was happy to make a meal. Our neighbors have been our second Home Depot since we started these home renovations forever ago. If Greg needs anything, he just goes over to Don's house, because Don has almost everything! We are lucky to have such awesome and generous neighbors. Anyways, I chose to make this risotto dish for Don and Rita because it makes a lot, it is comforting, and it is delicious. They told me it was one of the best things they have ever had! I've made this risotto many times before, and I was actually shocked that I had never posted the recipe on the blog. In the past, I actually cooked the chicken - but I decided to cheat this time. When I stopped in the grocery store to pick up the lemon and parsley, I saw the cooked rotisserie chickens and they called my name. Let me tell you, it made things SO much easier when I made the meal, and I think I will always "cheat" when I make this risotto. This risotto is fairly easy to make and it is absolutely amazing. It is definitely one of my favorite winter time meals. If you have never made risotto at home but have always wanted to, I suggest you try this recipe. Enjoy!

Recipe for Easy Chicken Risotto with Caramelized Onions

For the caramelized onions:
2 1/2 tsp. of olive oil
1 yellow onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. of granulated sugar

For the risotto:
One fully cooked rotisserie chicken (make it easy - purchase at your grocery store)
6 cups of chicken broth
4 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, divided
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of Arborio rice
1 cup of dry white wine (I used cooking wine)
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. of chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

Make the caramelized onions first. Put the olive oil into a large skillet and set over medium heat. Add in the onions and sugar to the skillet and toss to coat. Cook the onions, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown in color. It takes about 12 -15 minutes for the onions to caramelize. Transfer the onions to a bowl or plate and set aside.

Put the chicken broth into a fairly large saucepan and set over medium high heat. Allow it to come to a simmer while you start the risotto. Put the 2 Tbsp. of butter into a Dutch oven and set over medium heat. When the butter melts, add in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the Arborio rice to the pot and stir to coat with the butter. Cook and stir until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 2 - 3 minutes.

Add in the wine to the pot and stir. Cook, stirring the entire time, until the wine is fully absorbed - about 2 minutes. Stir 5 cups of the simmering broth into the rice (save the remaining broth for later and keep it over medium low heat so it stays hot or turn off heat and then bring it to a simmer just before the risotto is finished cooking). Reduce the heat  on the rice to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. Stir two times during the cooking. The risotto is done when almost all the liquid has been absorbed.

Add 1/2 cup of the hot broth to the risotto and gently stir until the risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Add in the Parmesan cheese and stir. Remove the Dutch oven from heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.

While the risotto is resting, shred the chicken into small pieces. If you had the chicken in the fridge, zap the shredded chicken on low in the microwave until it is warm. Then stir the chicken and the caramelized onions into the risotto. Set the pot back over low heat. Add in the rest of the butter, the lemon juice, and the parsley and stir well. Grind some freshly ground black pepper over the risotto, if desired. Serve immediately.

Recipe Adapted from: Annie's Eats

*Recipe makes about 8 servings - the risotto is also great leftover (just zap for about a minute in the microwave). Store in an airtight container in the fridge.