Tonight, all I wanted was macaroni and cheese. However, all we had was leftover grilled chicken, arborio rice instead of pasta, and a myriad of cheeses. So, I ended up cracking the book that Liz lent me: Risotto, a Williams-Sonoma cookbook.
A tome of all things risotto, this is an adaptation of the most basic of the repertoire. Technically, it's called Risotto with Four Cheeses, but I only used three.
I paired this with the chicken (see note: re: hubby needs meat; Also see: is apparently German?) and some steamed broccoli. The combination of cheeses was awesome, which was unexpected. With the mascarpone the original recipe called for, or cream cheese I used, you can get away with some fairly strong cheese flavor.
Anthony Bourdain happened to make risotto on TV while I was posting this. So, a note from Bourdain on risotto: "You should never be able to mound risotto. Risotto should be soupy." That is this risotto in a nutshell. Get out the shallow soup bowl and your favorite spoon to dig in.
If you want the real recipe, by the way, check out Risotto, and flip to page 18. I'm sure there will be more adaptations to come!
Formaggio Risotto with chicken
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
3 T. olive oil
1 T. butter
1/2 onion, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine, preferably chardonnay
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup Irish cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for pretty
Simmer 5 cups water for stock, and add 5 chicken boullion cubes. Or you can go boil a chicken. Your call.
Cut up chicken and place in a shallow bowl. Add 1/2 cup stock from the saucepan to chicken.
Heat oil and butter on medium-low. Add onion, and saute 4 minutes or until soft.
Add rice and stir to coat. Saute 3 minutes, or until rice is translucent with a white dot in the middle.
Add wine and stir until absorbed.
Add wine a cup at a time, and stir. Stir occasionally until rice absorbs broth, but top of rice is still shiny. Repeat with remaining broth, EXCEPT reserve 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup at the end.
Once stock is absorbed, about 20 minutes, remove pan from heat. Add cream cheese, stock and shredded cheese, stirring to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with parsley and serve warm.
Serve with a vegetable -- steamed broccoli or asparagus -- and a glass of white, since you already opened it and all. :)