Southwestern Risotto

by Rachel on March 21, 2012

Southwestern Risotto

I find risotto profoundly comforting. For me it’s really just an adult version of mac ‘n cheese, without the mac. You know what I mean. It’s creamy, and cozy, and reassuring, like a fleece blankie on a cold winter night. I like it with this Southwestern touch. This isn’t a spicy dish, even if you toss in all six tablespoons of Hatch chilies. Hatch chilies have a lot of flavor without packing much punch in terms of heat. They are a good choice for folks who shy away from lip burning, cough inducing – SPICY foods, but still like a meal with some oomph.

Southwestern Risotto (serves 6-8)

  • Two 32-oz boxes chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • One 10-oz jar salsa verde (I prefer Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3-6 tablespoons fire roasted canned diced green chilies (preferably Hatch)
  • chives and cilantro, finely chopped – for garnish

Heat the chicken broth in a 2-quart pot over medium heat. Set it on the burner next to your soup pot and keep it at a simmer throughout the cooking process.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and stir for one minute over medium heat. Add the Arborio rice and stir for one minute. Add 1 cup of wine and stir until it is absorbed. Gradually start adding chicken broth, one cup at a time.

While you are in the midst of adding broth to the rice you need to cook the chicken thighs. In a skillet heat the salsa verde and ½ cup of chicken broth over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook, uncovered for twenty minutes until they are just cooked through. You’ll want to turn them once or twice during the twenty minutes. Using tongs, remove them from the cooking liquid, place them on a cutting board and chop them into ½ inch cubes. Pour the cooking liquid from the chicken into the rice and allow it to be absorbed. Reserve the chicken.

Add the two teaspoons of limejuice. Continue adding chicken stock until the Arborio rice is al dente. Once it is just al dente add the chicken cubes and the Parmesan cheese. Add the hatch chilies. Start with half and taste. If you like more heat, add the rest!! Taste for salt and pepper and add if needed (I didn’t add any – the Parmesan cheese is plenty salty for me). Serve immediately. Can be garnished with chopped chives and cilantro.

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