Monday, July 18, 2011

When a plan comes together.....

Hannibal of the A-team always said,  "I love it when a plan comes together."  That's how I felt after I made chicken artichoke risotto this week.  After a tough week I took the night off and decided I needed some therapy.  That means risotto night.  There is nothing like stirring and thinking, add some more broth, stirring and thinking.  To me risotto is a metaphor for life.  You know going in, it probably will take a while to be just right.  You have to keep working at it, coaxing it, never walking away from it- or it could be ruined. Constantly monitoring and adding things just at the right moment. And then when you think it will never be finished, all of a sudden it is perfect.  You add just the right flavors and wa~la...You sit down and experience joy, and this time, in a bowl. 
     When I sat down in my newly rearranged living room, I said to my self..."Self, you are amazing.  Did you know you were such a good cook?  Pat yourself on the back for this one."  I think we all need to take a moment and remind ourselves we are amazing.  Whether you can create risotto from scratch, deal with death, manage a household, run kids back and forth, work full time, go to school or whatever you do,


Marg's chicken artichoke risotto recipe

2 quarts chicken stock
2 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Cup arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper
1 cup cooked chicken
1/2 bag frozen artichokes
Lemon zest
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley and thyme

Bring the stock to a boil and keep hot. In a 3 quart saucepan, combine the butter, olive oil, and shallots and saute over medium low heat until shallots are translucent. Add the rice and toast the rice for approximately 5 minutes, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Add the white wine and continue stirring until the wine has evaporated. Add the hot vegetable stock, just enough to barely cover the rice and continue stirring until all the liquid is evaporated. Repeat the above step until the rice is cooked al dente, about 15-30 minutes total cooking time, add salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken, artichokes, lemon juice and zest.  Stir. Add cheese and herbs and a little more broth if needed.  Sit back, eat and tell yourself you are amazing!