Probably one of my top 5 favorite meals is risotto. I’m not sure why I love it so much, possibly because its nice and creamy and has a good texture (most of the time). The best risotto I’ve ever had to this day has got to be the shrimp risotto from the Infinity Restaurant at Oyster Bay Resort in St. Maarten. We had such travel issues just getting to the island and arrived 5 minutes before the restaurant closed. Feeling our pain and seeing how exhausted we were, they graciously kept the kitchen open for us. Originally the risotto was lobster, but they ran out of lobster and asked if shrimp would be ok. Beggars can’t be choosers and at this point I was begging for anything that didn’t come in a snack sized bag. All I remember was that once I was done with dinner, I wanted more. I ordered it again the next night and tried again before we left but it wasn’t on the menu anymore, which was a bummer. It was so good I took a picture a picture of it, though the picture doesn’t do it justice at all, especially in the styrofoam container its in. I should try to recreate this meal, I’m sure it won’t be the same, but who knows, it might be even better! (I doubt it). Man, I could really go for some now, I wonder if they would deliver….
I’ve done risotto recipes before, always hovering around the stove, stirring every so many minutes after adding the hot chicken broth. It’s time-consuming but worth it. The risotto I made last night was done in the oven, sounds crazy, I know, but it’s pretty easy. I still like the stove top method better, but if you really want risotto and don’t want to bother with the stirring, try the oven method.
Here’s Giada’s Chicken Round 2 Recipe:
Risotto with bacon and kale ( Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis)
4 slices bacon, chopped coarsely
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups low-salt chicken broth, plus 1/4 to 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
3 medium curly kale leaves, stemmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
3/4 cup diced leftover chicken (from roasted chicken with root vegetables)
1 roasted carrot, chopped (from roasted chicken with root vegetables)
1 roasted parsnip, chopped (from roasted chicken with root vegetables)
1 roasted shallot, chopped (from roasted chicken with root vegetables)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large heavy saucepan or braising pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.
Add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 2 minutes. Add 3 cups broth and lemon juice. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover with a tight lid and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Remove the lid and stir in the kale, chicken, roasted vegetables and 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth. Stir until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes, adding extra broth, as needed, until the risotto is creamy. Stir in the cooked bacon and cheese. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Verdict: Now I didn’t use bacon or chicken in this, I think if I did, it would have been AMAZING! It was still good. Like I said, I love risotto. I also would have not done this in the oven, I think it came out too gummy, but that could be because my oven stinks and is a tad on the hotter side. The veggies were a nice plus in this, I was just glad to use up the leftovers from the roasted chicken. Now, I wasn’t sure if Eric would like this. He never really likes risotto but will eat it if I make it as a side dish but usually won’t go back for seconds. To my surprise, he didn’t hate this dish, though he couldn’t eat it straight up, he had to douse it will hot sauce and make it into a burrito. Yes, a burrito, because according to him, everything tastes good in a tortilla. I’m not sure about this, but at least he ate it, he actually had two risotto burritos. My suggestion is try it the normal way first, if you don’t like it, stuff it in a tortilla with some hot sauce.
Tonight Eric is charge of dinner. I believe we’re having fajitas with avocado cream. At least this dinner requires tortillas.