Yes, we survived Hurricane Irene. Having lost power for three days, unloading the refrigerator and freezer, cooking on the grill, playing games by candlelight and showering with cold water, this experience was tolerable. Nothing we would want to be doing on a regular basis, thank you!
Since last weekend, the mornings and evenings have been slightly cool. We have written about comfort food and our love for many different types of risotto. Jeff made it home first the other night and decided to blend a few different risotto recipes with some ingredients that needed to be used up. We had some fresh celery and tarragon from the garden and some dried porcini mushroom that needed to be used.
With a little bit of tweaking and our comfort with mixing and matching our ingredients for risotto, he came up with this chicken and mushroom risotto with fresh tarragon. One of the interesting things he did was use a different type of risotto rice. There are three types of risotto rice: 1. arborio, which we use all the time. 2. carnaroli, which we used in this recipe and 3. vialone nano. These are the best rices for risotto because they absorb liquids better, release more starch and can give the dish a creamier consistency.
We always use arborio which tends to give you a creamier consistency with this rice. The carnaroli is not as creamy, but definitely worked with this dish. The risotto was loaded with chicken and mushrooms and the slight taste of tarragon was a great combination, slightly licorish...so delicious.
It was nice to have some comfort food this week. It made us feel like home again and with eating out and cooking with minimal resources, this was a perfect dish to celebrate electricity and a need for some good old fashioned home cooking!
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 tablespoons of butter, separated into 2 tablespoons/2 tablespoons
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 cups of carnaroli rice
1 -1/4 cups of white wine
1 - 6 ounce package of dried porcini mushrooms
6-7 cups of chicken broth, placed in a medium sauce pan and heated to a slight simmer
1 - 3 pound roaster chicken (cooked, store bought), loosely chopped or pulled into pieces
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
2 teaspoons of freshly chopped tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
1. Place 7 cups of chicken broth in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Once the broth is heated, place on a slow simmer.
2. In a large heavy sauce pan, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the olive oil. Add the scallions, garlic and celery and saute until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the rice and dried porcini mushrooms and cook for about 1 minute, allowing the mixture to become incorporated. Add the wine and allow the mixture to boil off.
4. Start adding chicken broth by the ladle full. We normally begin with 2, allowing the mixture to be covered slightly with broth. Stir to mix the broth into the mixture. Reduce the heat to low and continue to add ladle fulls of broth as the mixture becomes less moist and the broth is absorbed.
5. Stir periodically to keep the rice from sticking and mixing the additional chicken broth. This process will take about 15-20 minutes. As you get near the last few ladle fulls of chicken broth, test the rice. You want it to be creamy but still have slight firmness. Add the chicken and tarragon, once incorporated add the last 2 tablespoons of butter and parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Take off the heat. The mixture may get a little sticky, just add a little of the chicken broth. You may have 1/2 to 1 cup left. When I package the remaining risotto for leftovers, I add a little chicken broth to the top to keep it slightly moist and easier to reheat.