I tend to eat a lot of spicy dishes that can be a bit...complicated I guess. I like recipes that are jam packed with flavor and lots of veggies. Sometimes though, I crave things that are a little bit simpler. Risotto is perfect for when I'm looking for something elegant but more understated. When I saw this particular recipe combined some of my favorite flavors, chicken and carmalized onions, I knew it had to be a winner. While some people may be turned off from cooking risotto since you usually have to stand at the stove the whole time and slowly incorporate the liquid, this recipe is much simpler. Leave it to the Cook's Illustrated people to perfect an already perfect dish.
If you aren't a big fan of caramelized onions then I would just leave them out since they weren't in the original recipe. I adore them though and think adding them was perfect. I think half an onion would be less overpowering for next time though. Also, I didn't use the sugar since I think caramelized onions are sweet enough on their own. If you have trouble getting a good caramelization though, the sugar will help.
Would I make this again? Definitely. This is a perfect pantry recipe.
Herbed Risotto with Chicken and Caramelized Onions
1½ tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of sugar
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
¾ tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups Arborio (medium grain) rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
Ground black pepper
Add 1½ teaspoons of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and sugar, stirring to coat. Allow the onion to cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and caramelized. Remove the onions to a plate and set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken broth and water and bring to a simmer. In the meantime, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet used to cook the onions set over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to the heated skillet and cook, turning once, until each side is a light golden brown. Remove from the heat and transfer the chicken pieces to the saucepan with the simmering broth mixture. Let cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165˚ F or until cooked through (no longer pink). Remove the chicken from the broth and transfer to the plate with the onions.
Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice to the pan, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes.
Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Stir 5 cups of hot broth mixture into the rice. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, 16-19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.
Add ¾ cup of the hot broth mixture to the risotto and stir gently and constantly until the risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Stir the shredded chicken and caramelized onions into the risotto with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, parsley and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add up to ½ cup of the remaining broth mixture to add moisture and loosen the texture. Serve immediately.
Source: Annie's Eats (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)