I was never a big fan of reality TV shows as I found them to be overly dramatic and I was constantly annoyed with their dialogues. Even as food lover, I was reluctant to watch Masterchef. When I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon, I realized how addicting it was. The more I watched it, the hungrier I got. Don’t you just wanna taste those dishes? They look so friggin’ amazing, especially at 2am in the morning when you’re watching that very “last” episode for the day.
Anyway, I was doing a Masterchef (U.S.) marathon and I came across this episode (S3E4) where contestants were made to cook risotto, a dish that Joe Bastianich had deemed “intimidating”. As he says,
Risotto refers not only to rice but the technique involved in making it. Because as opposed to steaming it or boiling it, you sauté it.
After watching all the contestants cook and present this Italian dish to the judges, with some winning exceptional praises while others criticized for their lack of knowledge and experience, I was very inspired (and hungry). The next thing I know, I was picking out Arborio rice from the grocery store, at the same time also learning that this rice is not cheap!
Since it was my first time making risotto, I wanted to make a fail-proof one. This was the first recipe that popped out on the Search Engine Organic results and had raving reviews. Indeed it was easy to execute!
Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
adapted from allrecipes. Serves 6
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6 cups chicken broth, divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes. Then stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I really love this recipe! As long as you follow the instructions and stir continuously, the risotto should come together nicely. It was easy to execute especially for beginners like myself! Well, I still have a lot of Arborio rice left, and I know I’ll definitely be experimenting with other risotto flavours! Have fun!
….and back to watching Masterchef…