You didn’t think I was serious, did you?
Ah, but I am. If there’s one thing I can commit myself to, it’s making risotto every Sunday. In fact, I am so dedicated to this new feature that I actually made this risotto last Tuesday because I had originally planned to go out for Mexican food tonight. As it happened, I didn’t go out for Mexican. I got sick, stayed home, and made baked potatoes.
Hmm, that story didn’t really go anywhere, did it? Well then, here’s something that will go somewhere: into your stomach via your smiling mouth! Please enjoy this consummation of mild citric sweetness and buttery chunks of pecans, chickeny goodness and a light, nutty crunch.
Orange-Pecan Chicken Risotto
3/4 cup short-grain rice
3/4 cup dry vermouth
2 shallots or 1/2 onion, chopped
juice of 1 orange
zest of 1/2 orange
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon hot mustard
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
about 6 ounces chicken meat, chopped or torn into small pieces
about 4 cups hot chicken stock
1/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
1/4 cup aged Gouda, shredded
- Mix orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, pepper, clove, and garlic together in a resealable container. Add chicken, stir to coat, and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours. (Remove garlic cloves and allow this mixture to come to room temperature before cooking.)
- Heat butter over medium heat in a deep frying pan. Add shallots or onions with some salt and pepper and sauté until soft and lightly browned.
- Add rice to the pan and stir well to coat with butter. Increase heat and keep stirring to toast rice.
- When starts to turn opaque, add vermouth to deglaze. Cook off liquid, then add pecans and reduce heat back to medium.
- Add stock, ladleful by ladleful, and cook, stirring often, until rice is almost al dente.
- Add chicken and marinade, stir well, and cook until liquid is almost gone and chicken is cooked through.
- If needed, add more stock to finish cooking rice.
- Stir in cheese, parsley, and a bit more butter. Serve hot in shallow bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.