6 cups rich homemade chicken stock or low sodium store-bought stock, heated to a low simmer
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 lb crimini mushrooms quartered lengthwise
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch Italian parsely
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan plus extra for garnish (preferably Italian)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Makes:5-6 hearty portions
This is a one-pot meal, which rewards highly for the effort you put into making it properly.
I think the main challenge is cooking the rice to a perfect al dente, while creating right consistency of the gravy. You want the rice to slowly settle into the serving dish. This will tell you that it has the right viscosity.
If you have the time to make stock or have a homemade rich stock on hand, it’s totally worth it to use in this dish.
Investing in some nice Grana Padano Parmesan is a good idea. I find Reggiano to be a little strong for this application. If not Grana, go with some Bel Gioso, but don’t use Stella and don’t even think about the green can.
I think a nice Pinot Grigio works well with this dish.
1Season chicken breasts with salt a pepper and sear in a hot large heavy-bottomed, straight sided pan with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Remove and chop into bite-sized pieces. They should be undercooked, because they will cook more later. Drain oil.
2Add 2T olive oil to same pan and sautee onion on medium-high heat until translucent. Add garlic, then rice and sautee for a couple minutes until rice is coated with oil. Add mushrooms and sautee briefly.
3Deglaze pan with the white wine and let cook off for 30 seconds or so. Ladle hot stock over rice 1 cup at a time to just cover mixture. Stir regularly to avoid sticking to bottom of pan and to create gravy. You shouldn’t go crazy stirring it though, because it releases too much starch from the rice grain.
4It’s done when the rice is firm to the bite, but not gritty at all. I’d test it after every ladle of stock has been mostly absorbed. Once the rice is mostly cooked, add the chicken back to the pan.
5Once the rice is al dente, you may need to add extra stock to form a loose gravy. Once a somewhat loose consistency is achieved, turn off heat and toss in most of parsley and all the butter. Stir until butter is incorporated. Add Parmesan and stir in once again. Garnish with extra Parmesan and parsley. Serve immediately.
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