I’m starting to think I should change the name of this site to Adryon Makes Risotto – because I think that’s all I do lately – but I can’t help it. Simple and delicious as is, risotto is versatile and easy to make your own.
You can stir in vegetables that you like, like butternut squash. Or you can make it taste like something such as French Onion Soup with just a few tweaks. I’ve even baked risotto in a loaf pan, let it cool and once it firms up, cut it into slices.
This time, I took my fascination with risotto and tossed it in with one of my other loves; Indian food. All the familiar details of the popular dish, Chicken Tikka Masala, but combined just to rock your socks off.
I send you zero apologies.
For the Chicken:
- 1lb of chicken tenderloins (or breasts, thighs, what you have on hand or according to your preference)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat your oven’s broiler. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and grease the foil with cooking spray, or high heat resistant oil. Combine all of the ingredients except the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Throw in the chicken and toss around for a bit until it is coated with the spice mixture.
*Traditionally this is a yogurt marinade, but I’m making this a little more ‘week-day dinner friendly.’*
Put the chicken on a pan and put under the broiler, flipping to make sure both sides are heartily browned. For me this was about 12 minutes total. Remove from broiler and cool.
Once cool enough, chop up into bite size or smaller pieces and set aside.
For the Sauce:
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- 1/2 of a small white or yellow onion, diced small (we’re going to put the other half in the risotto)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional if you have sensitive mouths in the house)
- 8 0z of tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup of coconut milk or heavy cream
In a medium sauce pot, melt the butter and throw in the spices to toast them for 3-5 minutes. This helps to release their flavor and deepen them. It will be a pasty consistency.
Add in the tomato sauce, stirring to combine the spices with the sauce. Slowly add the cream or coconut milk. Stir the sauce until everything is combined. Allow the sauce to simmer on low for 10 minutes. Set aside.
*If you want to make this ahead of time, be sure to warm it back up before using in this recipe.*
For the Risotto:
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- the other half of the onion from the sauce, diced small (usually there is garlic in risotto, but I skipped it since there was already two cloves in the sauce)
- 2 cups of arborio rice
- 1/4 cup of white wine
- 4 cups of chicken stock, kept warm on the stove top (the other two cups of liquid that we need are going to come from the tikka masala sauce)
- 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
In another pot, melt your butter over medium low heat and saute your onion until translucent. Add in your rice, and stir to combine. You want the rice to get coated with the butter. Keep the rice moving for about 2 minutes.
Add in your wine, start stirring and allow the wine to evaporate. When it does, put two ladlefuls of warm stock in the pot with your rice. Stir to combine and continue stirring until the liquid has been absorbed. Any time the rice starts to look dry, add stock a couple of ladles at a time, stirring and allow liquids to evaporate each time before adding again.
Keep stirring! You want that rice to let it’s starch go.
When all of your broth has been added and the risotto is ready for more liquid, do the same with the tikka masala sauce, stirring between each addition.
When all of the sauce has been added and the risotto is plump and creamy, stir in the chicken and cilantro and remove from heat. Taste and adjust any seasonings.
Garnish with more cilantro and serve with something equally as toasty like curry scented roasted cauliflower.