With temperatures in the 40s, cloudy skies and biting winds, and snow in the forecast for the end of the week, today seems like the perfect day to share this risotto recipe with you. Risotto is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods; it's the kind of meal that just warms the soul -- and the body, especially when the weather's getting chillier.
This recipe is adapted from a cookbook I inherited from my stepsister. She was getting ready to donate a bunch of cookbooks to charity, but I couldn't resist going through them first to see if there were any I wanted. This particular cookbook caught my eye immediately, since it contains recipes from the Mediterranean countries -- an area whose food I unequivocally love.
The recipe as it's written in the cookbook is very basic, consisting of only chicken, chicken broth, tomato sauce and some garlic. But to me, that's just not chicken cacciatore. When I think of chicken cacciatore, I immediately think of mushrooms, onions, and green peppers in a thick tomato-y sauce. So I added all of those things to the recipe, and I must say that this turned out wonderfully. Even Andrew liked it, and the leftovers heated up really well for lunch the next day.
Chicken Cacciatore Risotto
source: adapted from Viva la Mediterranean
1 cup arborio rice
5 to 6 cups warm chicken stock
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
8 ounces mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 14.5-ounce can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. In a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add onion, bell pepper and mushrooms and cook until peppers are crisp-tender and mushrooms are beginning to brown. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Add rice to pan and cook until it begins to brown and smells nutty, then add about 1 cup of warm stock to the pan. Cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed. Keep adding stock and stirring until the liquid is absorbed until rice is completely cooked (the whole process should take anywhere from 18-22 minutes).
3. Stir in chicken, diced tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and parsley until heated through. Top servings with additional parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired.