Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

This isn’t the first time I have made risotto, but it didn’t turn out nearly as good as this recipe did.  I knew the basic idea of it, slowly boil rice with stock until creamy and tender.  This needed to be quite savory since it was going to be as a main and not a side dish.  Big slices of mushroom, thick chunks of chicken, and creamy rice.  An ideal meal to welcome fall.  This recipe makes a perfect portion for a main dish for two, and is easily doubled for a family size meal.   It is my new favorite dinner, well for the next few weeks until I try some other combination or a new dish.  Don’t be afraid of risotto, I have a few tips to come out with perfect risotto without broken rice bits or it turning glugie and like oatmeal rather than a lovely creamy rice dish.  Once you get comfortable with the basic risotto you can add in anything you want in any combination you would like, it’s open to many possibilities.

The fundamental of risotto is simple.  Slowly cook the rice by adding a little bit of liquid at a time turning it into creamy happiness.  With the use of a second pan you save time by cooking the mushrooms and chicken with spices.  The amount of stock used in the rice will vary so in the recipe I give a range of cups to use.  I used two kinds of cheese, romano and parmesan.  I felt that the parmesan makes it too salty and the romano just perfectly balances it out, being a slightly milder hard cheese.  A great thing about this dish is it comes together in under 30 minutes.  You can have a hearty meal in no time, which is what most of us need.  You’re often tired by the time you get off work, you’ve battled traffic, and when you finally get home you don’t want to invest too much time in dinner. Want to spend that time in more productive ways, like making dessert?

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Quick and Dirty Chicken Curry

See my friends and fellow bloggers, I can make more than desserts! I made curry, and not just any but a fantastically bastardized chicken curry. But, wait your thinking… what do you mean bastardized? I have always wanted to make my own curry problem is.. I have never made a curry other then a potato one years and years ago.

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Chicken with Artichokes in White Wine

I came up with this based off of another similar recipe that has mushrooms and it is very close, but I made a few modifications to it due to what I had on hand.  It was a perfect quick and healthy weeknight meal.  It has tons of flavor, and it also made for great lunch for work the next day as left overs.  I cannot tell you how insanely soft this chicken turned out,  and letting it rest after cooking was key to making it taste amazing and making a very tender piece of meat.

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Black Beans & Rice with Eggs

Just a little background on me.  When I first go to any restaurant I am really not adventurous when it comes to choosing off the menu.  Hence, my New Years Resolution, my husband orders off the menus for me this year.  As I tend to stick to meals I have had before or what my husband calls bland/boring.   So, when I seen this on the menu at a local Cuban restaurant I was intrigued.   Beans and Rice sure, I’m latin, it’s a staple food, but add in eggs?  It almost lost me.  Now?  This is my favorite breakfast ever.  Which is funny because when I first had it was the only thing on the menu that sounded like would be a good first step, a typical ‘me’ choice.  When I finally got to dig into it, it was anything but bland and boring the spicy beans over the rice with the soft creamy eggs was happiness on a plate.   Add in a cup of steaming hot Cuban coffee and it was perfection.

I wanted to make this at home one winter because with 3 feet of snow outside, and more coming down as I peeked out the blinds, going to this restaurant was not high on my to do list.  So, a few tweaks and modifications it finally came to be.  I cheated with using canned Organic Whole Black Beans for this recipe and now it only takes around 20 min to prepare.  The list of ingredients are pretty minimal and typical to what most have in their pantry.  It makes a great go to breakfast for a busy summer day.  Tons of flavor, protein, and carbs to get you through a day of shopping, or a day trip to the locals farmers market.

Black Beans & Rice w/Eggs

  • 1 C Jasmine Rice
  • 1 1/2 C Water
  • 1 strip of Bacon, diced
  • 1/8 of a Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1  can (15 oz) Whole Black Beans, undrained
  • Small Pinch of Cumin
  • Very Small Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 eggs, per serving
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Over medium high heat, place a small sauce pan with the rice and water.  Once it comes to a boil turn down to low, put on lid, and cook for 20 min.

While the rice is cooking.  Head up a 10″ skillet to medium, once hot add the bacon to pan and cook until crispy.   Remove all of the bacon grease.

Add the diced bell pepper to the bacon and cook until the peppers turn a vibrant red, slowly add in the can of beans, with liquid and all.  Add in a pinch of cumin and salt to taste, and simmer until liquid is reduced by half.  About 10-15 min.

By now your beans should be almost done, and your rice should have all the liquid cooked out.  Take the rice off heat and fluff with a fork.

Place a small pan over medium heat, pan should have a lid.   Once the pan is hot add the olive oil, after about 30 seconds oil should be hot.  Add in eggs and place the lid on the pan.  Cook for 3 minutes if you like your yolks easy, 4 min for medium, and 5 min for hard yolks.  By placing the lid on the pan you’re cooking the top slowly as you cook the bottom, I found this makes for a softer egg yolk and creamer texture.

To serve spoon the beans over the rice and serve eggs on the side.  This goes great with a fruit salad on the side.  Toast is optional.

Makes 4 Servings

Portuguese Chicken and Rice

I could not tell you when or where I found this recipe all I know is it’s amazing.  This is now becoming a regular in my home.   It is that type of dish that I can see in any home being that dish generations later call “grandma’s chicken and rice.”   It has great homestyle feel with the complexity of a restaurant style dish.

I don’t even remember where I found this recipe.  I was doing some meal planning and found this in my trusty snowman notebook of random recipes.  It does take some time to make, but it is so worth it.   The flavors originally were great, but to me they needed to just be taken up a level, so adding in just three things to me made such a difference.   The great thing about this dish is really it’s stuff I always have in my pantry, so making it with or without the chorizo is up to you and what you have on-hand.

You finish the dish off by sprinkling with cilantro and serving with lime wedges.  It’s warm, comforting, spicy, and has amazing flavor.  My new favorite meal for when there is still a lot of snow outside.

Portuguese Chicken and Rice

  • 6 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground fennel
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 6 Chicken Thighs, bone in, trimmed of fat
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (roughly 1 c)
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped (roughly 3/4 c)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Zest of small lime
  • 6 oz chorizo, sliced on an angle
  • 1 c fresh cilantro (coriander), minced, separated in 1/2 c measurements
  • 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 3/4 c chicken broth
  • Juice of small lime
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 c Jasmine Rice

In a bowl combine the salt and minced garlic, crush into a paste with the back of a spoon.  Add in oregano, cumin, paprika, pepper, fennel, and vinegar.  Mix well.   Toss the chicken thighs in the marinade to coat and set aside.

In a large saute pot with lid, dutch oven, or any pot with high sides and a lid but wide enough to lay all the chicken on the cooking surface and not onto of each other and place over medium heat.  Add in the onion and green pepper, saute until onion is translucent.  Add in the pepper flakes, zest, and 1/2 c of the cilantro.  Stir.  Remove from pan and place in bowl.  Cover with foil.

In the pan add the chorizo and cook until lightly browned.  Remove from pan and place in bowl with the vegetables.

Increase the heat on the pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil.  Place the chicken skin side down into the hot pan to brown.  Add in any left over marinade still in bowl to coat.  When nicely caramelized turn over, and re-add the vegetable mix you previously removed, cook for 5 minutes.

Decrease heat back down to medium-low heat.  Add the lime juice to the water, set aside.   Add the tomato sauce to the pan and quickly add the lime water.  It will sizzle, quickly add in 1/2 of the chicken broth.  Add the rice and stir.  Add the remaining broth and bring to a slow simmer.  Add in 2/3 of the remaining chopped cilantro.  Once simmering cover and let cook for 5 min.  Taste, add in salt, pepper, and extra water as needed.  Let cook for another 10-15 min, until rice is done and moisture has cooked out.  Toss gently to not break the rice grains.   Remove the chicken thighs and let rice mixture sit uncovered for 5 min.  Shred the chicken meat off the bone and add the meat back into rice mix, gently toss.  Serve.

Parmesan Risotto

It’s been a while since I have cooked something new as been so busy we’ve had old stand by’s and some awesome sandwiches.  I was very excited to make this!  Mostly because I wanted to cook something new but really yummy.  I have been dying to try my hand at risotto, and so i went for something easy for a first attempt.  Just simple Parmesan risotto to start with now i got all kinds of combination’s going through my head!  I did use a technique that I learned watching Masterchef Australia, about how to agitated the pan and not stir with a spoon as it will break up the rice and make it gluggy and just not a nice smooth texture.  It’s kinda like making Jiffy Pop pop corn from when you were a kid just shake the pan in circular motion over the burner and then front to back to gently stir the mixture with out a spoon.

Parmesan Risotto

  • 6 to 8 cups Chicken Stock, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Clarified Butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots, (about 2)
  • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 4  tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for grating or shaving
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat stock in saucepan over medium heat; keep at a low simmer. Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots to oil, and cook, stirring, until translucent. Add rice, and cook, stirring, until rice begins to make a clicking sound like glass beads, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add wine to rice mixture.  Mix by gently moving the pan in small circles and then in back and forward motion to very gently stir, if your rice sticks then only in this step use a spoon, mix every 30 or so seconds until wine is absorbed by rice.  Using a ladle or measuring cup add 3/4 – 1 cup hot stock to rice. While keeping the pan on the flame, mix by gently moving the pan in small circles and then in back and forward motion to very gently stir every 1-2 minutes should mix at least twice before you add the next batch of stock.  When the rice has absorbed about 75% of the liquid add another 3/4 to 1 cup of the stock.
Continue adding stock 3/4 cup at a time and stirring constantly until rice is mostly translucent but still opaque in the center. Rice should be al dente but not crunchy. As rice gets close to being done, watch carefully and add smaller amounts of liquid to make sure it does not overcook. The final mixture should be thick enough that grains of rice are suspended in liquid the consistency of heavy cream. It will thicken slightly when removed from heat.  Remove from heat. Gently fold in the butter and Parmesan cheese season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixture among four shallow bowls, mounding risotto in the center, and grate or shave additional Parmesan over risotto, sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately.

Adapted: Parmesan Risotto – Martha Stewart Recipes