Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Risotto

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I first made this recipe when I was recovering from an upset stomach. All I could tolerate was rice and chicken but that gets boring really quickly, so I came up with this risotto instead that is gut friendly. I had to keep the serving size small, but the risotto keeps my taste buds happy while being gentle on my stomach. Rosemary and chicken are an old-favorite flavor combination that I jazzed up with balsamic vinegar. The chicken stock, mushrooms and zucchini provide depth of flavor and important nutrients.

Is there anything more comforting that a warm bowl of steaming risotto?  Tell us your go-to comfort foods!

 

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

I love this recipe because it brings us back through the centuries. Balsamic vinegar and rosemary are a favorite and classic flavor combination. For centuries, vinegar was just the byproduct of wine and beer making before it was then it was accorded various healing properties. All vinegars contain acetic acid, which acts as an irreplaceable flavoring for depth of flavor and a meat tenderizer. For thousands of years herbs and spices have been used as flavorings medicines dyes and perfumes.

Both fresh and dried herbs provide a wide variety of phytochemicals that promote health and protect against chronic disease. Rosemary, like other woodsy herbs is sometimes brewed as a tea to aid in digestion. In fact, about a quarter of all prescription medications contain compounds derived from herbs and other plants. Try to buy organic fresh herbs to reduce pesticide exposure.

By Amanda Bontempo, MS, RD, CDN
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Balsamic Rosemary Chicken Risotto

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Servings: 8

Ingredients

5 cups chicken stock

1 ½ pounds chicken (diced into ½-inch cubes)

⅓  cup balsamic vinegar (divided)

2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)

1 cup green leek tips (diced)

2 cloves garlic (smashed, will be removed before cooking rice)

6 medium crimini mushrooms (diced)

1 large zucchini (diced)

1 ½ cup arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

¼ cup fresh rosemary (minced)

2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)

Instructions

  1. If preparing ahead of time, marinate the chicken in ⅙ cup of balsamic vinegar overnight, otherwise proceed with 2nd step.
  2. In a small saucepan, warm chicken stock on low heat. Cover with lid until needed.
  3. In a large pan, warm 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Add chicken and cook on medium-high heat until all sides are opaque (add ⅙ cup balsamic vinegar if chicken was not marinated).  Remove chicken and juices to a bowl.
  5. In the same pan, add the rest of the olive oil, leeks and garlic. Saute over medium heat until garlic becomes fragrant, then remove and discard the cloves. Add the diced zucchini and mushrooms and cook over a medium heat until tender.
  6. Push vegetables to the side and add in the rice, coating it in the oil and pan juices, then pour in the white wine and remaining ⅙ cup balsamic vinegar. Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Begin adding the warmed chicken stock, one ladle at a time.
  8. Reduce heat to low/medium setting and stir frequently, letting the stock gradually absorb into the rice.
  9. Add more stock when the previous batch has almost dried out and keep going until the rice is fully cooked (soft) or the stock runs out. Note: Add the chicken and its juices into the rice when chicken stock is about half-used, so it can finish cooking with the rice.
  10. Season with rosemary, salt and pepper.
  11. Stir in butter when dish is finished, if desired.

 

Suggested pairings:

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, minced chives (green parts only) or a sprig of rosemary or parsley. Don’t forget the wine!

If preparing ahead of time, marinate the chicken in ⅙ cup of balsamic vinegar overnight, otherwise proceed with 2nd step. In a small saucepan, warm chicken stock on low heat. Cover with lid until needed. In a large pan, warm 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook on medium-high heat until all sides are opaque (add ⅙ cup balsamic vinegar if chicken was not marinated).  Remove chicken and juices to a bowl. In the same pan, add the rest of the olive oil, leeks and garlic. Saute over medium heat until garlic becomes fragrant, then remove and discard the cloves. Add the diced zucchini and mushrooms and cook over a medium heat until tender. Push vegetables to the side and add in the rice, coating it in the oil and pan juices, then pour in the white wine and remaining ⅙ cup balsamic vinegar. Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Begin adding the warmed chicken stock, one ladle at a time. Reduce heat to low/medium setting and stir frequently, letting the stock gradually absorb into the rice. Add more stock when the previous batch has almost dried out and keep going until the rice is fully cooked (soft) or the stock runs out. Note: Add the chicken and its juices into the rice when chicken stock is about half-used, so it can finish cooking with the rice. Season with rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir in butter when dish is finished, if desired.   Suggested pairings: Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, minced chives (green parts only) or a sprig of rosemary or parsley. Don’t forget the wine!

Nutrition Information

Per Serving (without butter):  Calories: 449; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 68mg; Sodium: 1641mg; Potassium: 461mg; Carbohydrates: 57g; Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 8g; Protein: 35g

Nutrition Bonus:  Vit C: 22%; Iron: 13%

 

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