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Pasta and Rice


Chicken Risotto with Asparagus


9 cups chicken stock
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2½ cups arborio rice
4 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup chardonnay wine
12 asparagus spears, tough ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

In a large saucepan, bring chicken stock just to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low to keep it hot.

Add olive oil to a Dutch oven over high heat. When oil starts to shimmer, add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, until browned on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add rice to Dutch oven and let toast slightly for a minute. Add butter and cook until melted. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring slowly with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium low. Add wine and let the rice absorb. Add the chicken stock in cupful additions, waiting each time for the rice to absorb before adding another cup. Repeat until chicken stock is gone and rice becomes creamy.

Taste. If the rice is too crunchy, start to add some hot water ½ cup at a time. Rice should ultimately be al dente, with just a slight bite to it. When this stage is achieved, add asparagus and chicken and stir for 3 to 5 minutes, until asparagus is fork tender but not limp.

Turn off heat. Add salt and pepper. Place about a cupful in the center of a plate and garnish with a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.

Makes 8 servings.

Note: The rice must be stirred frequently during the entire cooking time.