Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom Risotto

Sun, 11 May 2014 09:25:59 +0000
 A good risotto for me trumps pasta any day. Its come to become one of my favourite italian dishes. I would also consider it a special occasion dish. It does need a lot of attention while cooking. Which is why I though it perfect to treat my mom to a fabulous risotto on Mothers day. Risotto is a dish thats become associated with high end restaurants, but really its the epitome of italian home cooking. Every italian boy will tell you that his mama's risotto is the perfect comfort food. Its a one pan family meal that is so nutritious and packed with tons of flavour. I chanced upon some affordable arborio rice in my recent trip to Goa. So my recipe today is as authentic as it gets. Ofcourse if you don't have arborio rice, you can use any starchy short grained rice. I've added chicken, spinach & mushrooms because that is what I had in hand. But really you can add any combination of veggies or meat. Its a perfect dish to use up leftover veggies or meat. For a vegan version check out this recipe Serves 4: 1 tbsp butter 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped 1/2 cup white wine 2 cups arborio rice (you can use any starchy short grained rice as a replacement) 1 litre chicken stock 1 cup chicken 1 cup mushrooms 2 cups spinach Salt & pepper to taste Parmesan cheese (optional) 4-5 basil leaves (optional) In a heavy based pan, melt some butter. Add in the garlic and sauté till translucent. Add the rice and stir so the butter coats the rice thoroughly. Add in the white wine and simmer till it reduces. Now the tricky bit. Use the chicken stock one ladle at a time. Add one ladle of stock in the rice and stir. The rice must completely absorb the broth before ladling another spoonful. Stir gently after each addition. About halfway through, add the mushrooms, spinach and chicken. Since these dont take too long to cook, we add them towards the end. Repeat the ladling step till all the broth is absorbed by the rice and its cooked. Once you start adding the broth the risotto usually takes 20-30mins to cook. Add in salt & pepper and your risotto is ready! Traditionally a risotto is served with Parmigiano Reggiano, but enough with the fancy. I've served mine with regular cheddar cheese. Garnish with some basil or chives and serve with a glass of white wine. Note: Italians like their rice al dente, which means the rice has a little bite. But I'm indian and I like my rice fluffy and well cooked. You can cook it to your preference. Tip: You can also add some cream or milk towards the end of the cooking process. This makes the dish rich an creamy.
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