I remember coming across this recipe a really long time ago, thinking, “I need to make this right away!” and then somehow it got pushed from the menu the following week and back into the depths of my Google Reader. It’s really quite unfortunate, because this was a great meal.
I love meals that are spins on other popular dishes. I do it frequently with burgers and risotto myself. This risotto is based on chicken cacciatore. Cacciatore, while flavorful in itself, is usually put on top of plain pasta. It’s still delicious, but letting the flavors of the cacciatore permeate through the whole dish, as it does with this risotto, is a fabulous idea.
I normally use white wine in my cacciatore [please click only if you want see a horrific picture and an even more horrific "write up"], but I liked Josie’s use of red wine so I went with it. I’m now looking forward to making another red wine risotto very soon. The red wine just gave the risotto a greater depth of flavor—and a very pretty color!
Although this recipe called for chicken thighs, I used breasts. It’s not that I don’t like thighs—in fact, if you read this blog at all, you should know I hold them far superior to chicken breasts—but breasts were what I had in my freezer. I made a few other small changes to this recipe, and we were very happy with the results. I’m looking forward to making this again and not letting it get lost in the black hole of internet recipes.
Chicken Cacciatore Risotto
Adapted from Pink Parsley
1 large chicken breast (about 8 oz.)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. herbes de Provence
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 cup arborio rice
3/4 cup red wine
3 cups chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
3/4 cup grated Romato or Parmesan cheese
freshly minced parsley
Season the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence. Heat a large saute pan or wide/shallow saucepan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook 4-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, and crushed red pepper to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer.
Add 1 Tbsp. butter to the pan where you cooked the chicken. Once melted, add the shallot and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and mushrooms and cook an additional minute.
Add the rice to the skillet, and cook, stirring continuously, until the edges are translucent. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Add the red wine, and stir continuously, scraping up any browned bits, until the wine is mostly absorbed.
Add 1-2 ladle-fulls of the chicken broth/tomato mixture to the rice, stirring constantly, until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Add another 1-2 ladle-fulls.
Continue adding liquid until the rice is cooked al dente. Taste to check doneness—it should have a slight bite in the center. When cooked to al dente, add 1 more ladle of chicken broth, and remove from heat. Stir in the remaining Tablespoon of butter, Parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley.
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, and add to the risotto. Divide evenly among serving plates, and top with more cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.