What to do when dinner and Grey's Anatomy with one of the girls turns into dinner party for four? And you only have three scrawny boneless skinless chicken breasts. Go!
This is what happened to me tonight. I apparently have terrible listening skills and felt like I was caught with my drawers around my ankles when my Coral and her fantastic guy showed up on my doorstep. So I got creative. Thank God they're patient and that we had a little wine and simple garlic bruschetta to keep their appetites at bay.
1 lb rice, arborio
large pinch of saffron
3 C chicken stock
3 C water
3 T butter
1 medium onion
1 large lemon
1 t finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 C parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 C other cheese
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Heat 1 cup chicken broth until very warm to the touch, and add the saffron. (I microwaved it at 90% for one minute.) Set aside.
Chop or slice the onion finely. In a large saucepan, melt the butter gently on medium to medium-high heat, then add the onion and cook until golden brown.
In another saucepan, put the remaining 2 cups of broth along with the 3 cups of water and heat to a simmer.
To the onion, add all of the rice and stir frequently, until the rice begins to take a dusty, white appearance and the overall consistency becomes a bit creamy.
Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and simmer on medium to low heat until the wine is absorbed. Add the saffron mixture, and allow that to absorb. Then, begin adding the broth mixture, one cup at a time, until all of the liquid is also absorbed.
While you're waiting for the risotto to solidify (I like mine fairly dense, but typically this should be left rather creamy), cook your additions. I started with the boneless chicken breasts (no pictured, because we ate it all too quickly):
Heat about 2 T of olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick pan. Place chicken breasts in the pan and season with salt, pepper, and a bit of lemon zest and rosemary, reserving some for the other side.
Cook chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, seasoning again as above, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and slice into 1/2-inch strips.
Cook the zucchini in the same pan for about 5 minutes, until the zucchini are beginning to look clear and take on a few golden brown spots on the flesh. Remove from heat.
Just before serving, fold in 1/2 cup cheese with the risotto. Serve risotto, topped with meat and/or veggies, a bit of shredded parmesan, pinch of rosemary, and a squirt of lemon juice.