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12 January 2011

Interlude: We're going to eat risotto like it's your Birthday

           Well I'm about to turn the big 3-0. We all know what that means, black socks and shorts, lots of prunes, and I'll finally find Dick Van Dyke funny. To take my mind off it The Girl took me to William Sonoma. Boy did we help their sales numbers this month. The Girl picked me up the 15 piece All Clad LTD2 set. Then she told me to make her dinner.
            The dish I decided to make for her is Black Trumpet Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto with Pan Seared Rosemary Chicken Breast. The first thing I had to do was warm up a cup of chicken stock to let the black trumpet mushrooms soak in for half an hour. I then began by sauteing the arborio rice in my new 2qt saucepan in 2 tablespoons olive oil. I then added diced shallot, thyme, parsley, black pepper, minced garlic, and 2.5 cups seafood stock. I brought the whole mixture to a boil, dropped to a simmer, and let it cook UNCOVERED for 20 minutes.
            In my new big ol' flying saucer of a saute pan I heated some olive oil and began to sweat some shallots. I took a massive single breast of chicken (Earthfare free range natural juicy goodness, for Publix chicken I would do two breasts), butterflied it and lightly seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper. I placed the breast down in the pan and topped with three sprigs worth of rosemary. I let the breast sit untouched for three minutes before flipping.  After another 3 minutes, I deglazed the pan with a mini-bottle of Pinot Gris and moved the pan to a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.
            In a 1qt saucepan, I brought 1 cup of chicken stock to a boil. I sliced one bunch of green asparagus into 1 inch pieces, on the diagonal, and let them cook in the stock for about 5 minutes. Once they were fork tender I strained them, tossed with kosher salt and olive oil, and set aside.
           At this point the risotto had been cooking for close to 16 minutes. I added a handful of reconstituted mushrooms and the asparagus, stirring occasionally. I then pulled the saute pan out of the oven, placing it back on a medium flame, and moving the chicken breast to a cutting board. I sliced the chicken and placed it back in the pan, stirring the white wine pan sauce to ensure coverage.
            I then turned off the flame for the risotto. If you do not have a gas range, remove the pan from the hot burner. I folded in half a cup of shaved parmesan cheese. This I divided into two pasta bowls, then topped with the chicken, and served with a Tuscan demi-loaf.


           The risotto was exactly how I like it, though a little on the umami side for The Girl. The seafood stock mixes well with the starch to give it the richness that risotto should have. Next time, for her, I will do a little less mushroom and fold in a half cup of heavy cream. The chicken had a nice sweetness that it picked up from the Pinot Gris. It was tender, juicy, and evenly cooked. Can't ask for much more than that. Overall, this is a dish that I will make again and again, with my beautiful new cookware that will always remind me that I slave away in the kitchen out of love, not obligation.  

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