Monday, September 19, 2011

Semi-Homemade Chicken Primavera Risotto

This is one of my favorite dishes from Pampered Chef. It's a creamy and lemony dish of rice and veggies. Using a flavored pre-cooked rice substantially decreases cooking time and adds, well, flavor. ;)

I want to try using some leftover white/brown rice to see how much flavor I actually lose. If the loss is tolerable then I can avoid buying the prepackaged stuff. That's good for two reasons: the prepackaged stuff has soy bean oil & it would decrease the cost.

cooking oil spray
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
olive oil
 1 lemon, cut in half crosswise
 1 medium onion, chopped
 1 large garlic clove, pressed
 2 packages (8.8 ounces each) buttery or roasted chicken flavor pre-cooked rice
 1 medium carrot, peeled & julienned
 1 medium zucchini, sliced
 2 plum tomatoes, seeded & diced
 2 - 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil
 2 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese (optional)

Flatten chicken to 1/2-inch thickness, then season with salt and black pepper. With cooking oil spray,  lightly coat a large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until hot. Arrange chicken and lemon halves, cut sides down; cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until center of chicken is no longer pink (do not turn lemon halves). Remove chicken and lemon. Cool slightly; slice chicken into 1/2-inch pieces.

Lightly spray the skillet again.  Add onion and a pinch of salt, saute for about 5 minutes. And garlic, cook  until fragrant.

Add the rice; juice caramelized lemon halves into the rice. Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until juice is completely absorbed into rice. Add vegetables and 2 cups of the broth:bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 4-5 minutes or until broth is slightly thickened. Stir in chicken; cook until heated through.

Remove risotto from heat. * Add Asiago cheese and basil; stir until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened (adjust sauce consistency with additional broth, if necessary). Stir in mascarpone cheese, if desired.

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