|Riso alla Pitocca: Traditional Rice and Chicken|
Did I mention how much I love braises in cold weather? This would be the fourth braised dish I've published this month (the third with chicken) so I'm declaring December the month of braising here at Crazy Foodie Stunts. This one caught my eye when I was preparing the polenta for the chicken cacciatore dish because it was on the opposite page from the polenta recipe. It uses Arborio rice in a way that I've never seen before (namely, risotto or arancini).
Using an alternate method to prepare an ingredient
Adapted from page 90 of Lidia's Favorite Recipes by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup onion, coarsley chopped
1 cup carrot, coarsley chopped
1 cup celery, coarsley chopped
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups turkey stock, hot
2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons, fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano, plus more for garnish
1. Combine the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in a food processor and pulse to mince into a mirepoix.
2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mirepoix and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mirepoix has adsorbed the liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken with the bay leaf and season with the remaining salt. Stir occasionally until the chicken has browned and caramelized on all sides, about 4 minutes.
3. Raise the heat and deglaze with the white wine, scraping any fond on the bottom of the pan, cooking until the wine has almost evaporated. Stir in the hot stock and add the rice. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to so the rice is bubbling gently. Cook until the rice and the chicken have cooked through and the consistency is creamy, about 14 minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter. Stir vigourously until melted. Stir in the parsley and 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano. Serve immediately in warmed pasta bowls.
Despite a some flaws in execution (I'd use less mirepoix), I was very satisfied with this dish. It reminded me of risotto but a far easier preparation method.