Call me crazy, but I love a cooking project. I am fascinated by the process of cooking risotto. It is a traditional Italian dish with an ooey, rich, creamy texture! The only problem is the cook time takes patience, time and attention-sometimes I have it and sometimes I don’t! When I have the time, I enjoy warming up a large pot of chicken stock and gradually stirring up this yummy concoction. Most days I just don’t have the time. This recipe is relatively quick and cooks in the oven but is equally as delicious as the traditional recipe. The ingredients are fairly simple and it’s relatively inexpensive, but with the right seasonings and cheeses can be completely decadent. For my crazy schedule, being able to quickly assemble everything and pop it in the oven after a day at the office is ideal.
There are so many ways to change it up. When my kids were younger, I would add rotisserie chicken, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil at the end for a simple one pot dinner. We would sometimes pretend they were at a fancy restaurant and serve it on fancy dishes; they loved it! Lately, my favorite is a mixture of sautéed veggies served alongside the luscious risotto with grilled salmon, shrimp, or beef tenderloin. I promise this is a quick, delicious dish that will look (and taste) like you spent all day preparing it. Cheers!
½ cup of Arborio rice (a short grain-starchy type of rice)
4 cups of chicken stock
1 Tbs olive oil
3 – 4 Tbs butter
½ cup of diced onion
2-3 cloves of roasted garlic
½ cup of dry white wine (don’t use anything you wouldn’t drink)
½ cup of fresh parmesan cheese (use more if you like)
salt and pepper to taste
any fresh herbs you want
Melt butter on the stove top in a dish that can go in the oven (I use my souffle dish), add olive oil. Sautee onions, add garlic. Stir in the rice, coat with butter, and onion mixture. Add chicken stock, wine and seasonings to dish and stir. Place in a 350-degree oven for about 35 minutes. I typically stir mine every 10-15 minutes (it makes me feel like I’m preparing it the real way). If necessary, add more broth-the goal is for it to be creamy and gooey, not thick and sticky. Next, add in the cheese and stir. You may need to put it back in the oven to melt cheese.
Add the rotisserie chicken at this point if you try this version. Sometimes I add a dash of cream at this point for even more richness.
By Nancy Roberts
Photos By Shayli Anne Photography