From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This recipe is a keeper and one that, once tried, I suspect will be used over and over again. The cost of its ingredients keep it well within the realm of possibility for a Frugal Friday meal, but I must admit I was first drawn to the recipe because it used a microwave to speed up making risotto. The recipe was developed by America's Test Kitchen, so I was reasonably certain that this speedy version would work. It did, but there is one pitfall that I want to alert you to. The length of time that the rice is microwaved is given as a variable in the recipe. I'm sure that was done to accommodate various types of ovens, but be vary cautious as you move toward the upper end of the suggested range. The rice is actually cooked in two stages, and if spends too much time in the microwave, your risotto end up being gummy and overcooked. By trial and error, I've come up with a method that works for me. I have a 1200 watt oven and I cook the rice on High power for 13 minutes. At that point, the rice had softened and most of the liquid in which it cooked had been absorbed. It is close to, but not completely done at this stage and it is ready to be transferred to a pan of waiting aromatics to finish cooking on a stovetop burner. The addition of chicken adds enough substance to make this a remarkably tasty one-dish meal. Surprisingly, this dish gets rave reviews from the Silver Fox who also loves to have leftovers for lunch the following day. This is a fast and frugal meal that makes a perfect feature for Frugal Foodie Friday. Here is how the risotto is made.
Risotto with Chicken, Lemon and Basil...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of America's Test Kitchen
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded and meat shredded into bite-sized pieces or 3 cups leftover chicken shredded into pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons grated zest + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Salt & pepper
1) Combine rice, 3 cups broth and 2 tablespoons butter in a large bowl. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and microwave until rice is softened and most of liquid is absorbed, 10 to 16 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, melt additional 2 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in hot rice mixture and remaining broth and simmer, stirring constantly until rice is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in chicken and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
3) Remove pan from heat. Stir in basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If finished risotto is too thick, stir in hot water, a few tablespoons at a time to adjust consistency. Serve, passing more Parmesan at the table. Yield: 4 servings.
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