Thursday, January 15, 2015

Chicken Spezzatino

Chicken Spezzatino with Creamy Risotto

This dish is perfect for cold winter days.  It's a flavorful Italian stew that is very hearty and healthy.  You can serve it alone or how we like to enjoy it in our home, over polenta or risotto.  Enjoy!

Chicken Spezzatino

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Celery Stalks, chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Onion (small), diced
1 Can (14 1/2 oz) chopped tomatoes with juices
1 Can (14 1/2 oz) Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup or so ripped Basil Leaves
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 tsp. Fresh Thyme
2 Chicken Breasts
1 can (15 oz) Kidney Beans
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a heavy saucepan, heat up oil.  Add celery, carrots, and onion (salt and pepper) and cook until onion is translucent.  Stir in tomatoes, stock, basil, tomato paste, and thyme.  Cook until heated and together.  Add raw Chicken and press to submerge in liquid.    Let the stew simmer over medium low heat to cook the chicken for about 20 minutes, turning the chicken half way through.   Once chicken is cooked, take them out and chop or shred or leave as large pieces.  Add back to the pot with the kidney beans.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.  

Creamy Risotto

4 Cups Chicken Stock
3 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 Cup chopped onion
1 1/2 Cups Risotto (I like to use Arborio Rice, found in most grocery stores)
1/2 Cup Apple Juice
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Cup Mozzarella
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter in a saucepan.  Add onion and saute until tender.  Add rice and stir to coat with the butter.  Add juice and simmer until absorbed.  Over medium heat, add 1/2 Cup of stock and stir in until almost absorbed.  Continue adding 1/2 Cup of stock at a time, allowing it to be absorbed each time.  This is a bit tedious, but don't rush it!  Rice will thicken and once it is tender, add cheeses and allow to melt in.  You can add another Tbsp. of butter here or do without.  Enjoy!

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