Monday, November 03, 2014

Chicken Piccata Risotto with Crispy Capers

This. Was. Incredible.

Chicken piccata risotto

It's times like these that I wish I was a better food photographer. I don't feel like my photos adequately express how amazing this was, and that makes me sad. Because I want every person who reads this post to make this dish. That's how much we enjoyed it.

Chicken piccata risotto

Baby Girl is a big risotto fan and I'm always on the lookout for new recipes. I saw this Lighter Chicken Piccata Risotto with Crispy Capers on Iowa Girl Eats and as soon as I saw her post I knew we'd love it. I'm a sucker for all things salty and the tang from the capers and lemon was just perfect.

The original recipe calls for adding all the chicken broth at once, but I'm a purist when it comes to risotto. I also omitted the garlic and added some white wine because that's how I always make risotto. SP had a work dinner the night I made this so he didn't get to taste it until lunch the next day. He actually sent me an email to say lunch was excellent. I can't wait to make this one again.

Chicken Piccata Risotto with Crispy Capers
Very slightly modified from Iowa Girl Eats

6-7 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 large shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 lemon, cut in half
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup capers, drained and patted dry
2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan then turn down the heat and keep at a simmer.

In a deep, heavy skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, season with salt and pepper, and saute for about 2 minutes or until the shallot is tender. Add the thyme and cook for one minute, then add the rice. Cook for another 2-3 minutes to toast the rice, stirring frequently.

Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Once the rice has absorbed the wine, add 1 ladle (approx. 1 cup) of the simmering stock, and keep stirring nearly constantly, making sure to push down any rice stuck to the edges of the pans. Once the liquid is nearly absorbed, add another ladleful of stock. Continue to do this until the rice is cooked but still slightly chewy, about 25 minutes. Taste the rice frequently to check the consistency. If you notice you're running low on broth, add more to the saucepan so you don't run out.

When nearly all the broth has been absorbed but the rice is still creamy, add the spinach. Once the spinach is wilted, taste the rice to make sure it's done. Remove the pan from the heat then stir in the juice from 1/2 lemon, Parmesan cheese, and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Taste, add salt and pepper if necessary and set aside.

While the risotto is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the capers and sauté until slightly opened, brown, and crispy, 2-3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper then saute in the caper-infused olive oil, 4 minutes per side. When the chicken has 1 minute left to saute, squeeze the second lemon half over the chicken.

To serve, plate the risotto then top with a piece of chicken. Sprinkle some of the crispy capers on top.

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