Poached Chicken Risotto

In my own definition, risotto is like a sophisticated version of a plain white rice. It can be intimidating and tedious to make, but definitely worth the effort.

poached chicken

Poached Chicken Risotto
Yield: 2 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

For the poached chicken:
1/2 pound skinless chicken breast, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
pinch of salt
pinch of dried tarragon

For the risotto:
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onions, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup grated parmesan

For the poached chicken:
1. In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, salt, and herbs. Add the chicken and coat all over with the lemon juice mixture. Set aside for 10 minutes.
2. In a large stock pot, bring 8 cups of water to high simmer.
3. Roll out a long sheet of plastic wrap at least twice as long as the chicken breast slices. Place 1 chicken strip in the middle of the plastic wrap. Roll it up tightly. Compress as much air out of the chicken as you can as you roll it. Once the chicken is rolled up, rotate it on your cutting board or counter several times to tighten the cylinder even more. Tie the loose ends of the plastic wrap together in a double knot. Repeat with the second chicken strip.
4. Once the water has reached a high simmer, turn off the heat, but keep the pot on the burner. Drop the rolled-up chicken cylinders in the pot. Cover the pot and let the chicken steep for 15 minutes.

For the risotto:
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside until the mushrooms are tender. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter then add the oil. Add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and cook until translucent.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board. Finely chop then add to the large saucepan. Sauté until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes.
4. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often.
5. Stir in the peas then add the parmesan cheese.

Poached Chicken Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes
Risotto Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis


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