Friday, January 2, 2009

Dinner tonight... Parmesan-Carrot Risotto and Peach-Pecan Chicken

When I saw the recipe for Parmesan-Carrot Risotto in the January/February issue of Everyday Food, I was surprised to see that they'd substituted regular rice for arborio rice and thought to myself, well, I'll just make it with arborio rice anyway. I had to laugh, then, when I opened my pantry tonight and realized that I am somehow out of arborio rice altogether and as a result, had to go with plain rice after all. In any case, this recipe was more flavorful than I thought it would be, in the best way possible. The toughest part about making it is grating the carrots (I used a box grater. Next time, I might be tempted to just go all out and grate them in my food processor. There's nothing fun about grating carrots on a box grater. Nothing.). The second toughest part is hanging around the stove long enough to keep stirring and stirring and stirring until the rice absorbs all of the chicken broth. But in the end it was worth it, as it yielded a really hearty, tasty dish. I think I still prefer using real arborio rice for risotto, but it's nice to know that I can approximate it with regular rice if the need arises.

I paired it with roasted chicken breast that I braised in Paula Deen-brand Peach Pecan Dressing that I received in my Christmas stocking at Mr. Fritz's house this year. I put the chicken in a heavy baking dish (which, coincidentally, was given to me by The Original Mrs. Fritz for Christmas last year), spread a few tablespoons of the dressing on top, and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. It came out nice and moist and the dressing made for a great glaze as it cooked down. Super easy! And I still have lots of the dressing left over, so I'll be able to experiment with using it in other ways.

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