Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Apple-Chicken Risotto With Fresh Sage and Crispy Shallots
Apple-chicken risotto with fresh sage and crispy shallots. Ask and you shall receive ... here ya go! 1 -2 Tbs olive oil, plus 1-2 tsp (for crispy shallots) 2 small shallots, minced, plus 2 more, sliced (for topping) 1.5 c pearl (Israeli-style) couscous or Arborio rice 1/2 tsp dried sage 1/4 c Calvados 4-5 c chicken stock, almost simmering in a separate pot 1 c med. diced cooked chicken 1/4-1/2 of a Granny Smith apple (depending on size), med. diced, skin on 8-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped 1/4 c smoked Gouda, grated OR 1/4 c Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated salt and pepper 1 Tbs butter (opt., but good) In a large pot, heat 1-2 Tbs olive oil and then add the minced shallots. Let them soften and caramelize a bit, stirring occasionally, and then over med-low heat, add the couscous or Arborio rice. You want the grains to glisten and toast a little in the pot. Stir in the dried sage (building the base flavor), then add the Calvados, and stir til the liquid is absorbed. Over medium heat, add about 1/2 c of the chicken stock and stir til the pan is almost completely dry. You don't need to stir constantly, but you don't want the grains to stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep adding the broth in 1/2 c increments and then letting the liquid get absorbed, til the grains are tender and their starch has made a creamy glaze. This will take about 20-22 min. in all. Fold in the chicken, apple, and fresh sage leaves. Add the cheese and then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Just before serving, gently stir in the butter, which will just make it even creamier. For the crispy shallots, heat 1-2 tsp olive oil in a small frying pan and then add the sliced shallots. Let them cook slowly over medium heat til they're lightly brown and crispy. You want to do these either before you start the risotto or at the same time--just not after, as the risotto should be served immediately.