I love Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. I’ve even shared my recipe for it, a beautiful thing, filled with cream and butter. As you may have noticed, my recipes are taking on a lighter healthier attitude, so I decided to see if I could wave the light and healthy magic wand and come up with something new. The result was a one pot meal that had the flavors of my decadent soup with the added benefit of less fat and a five grain rice blend for extra fiber. Oh, and it is eaten with a fork instead of a spoon.
Risotto is a wonderful dish. It is creamy, a little chewy, and very comforting. Light and healthy it is not…usually. I made a few simple changes and a new light dish was born. I started with a rice blend that I found at World Market. Made by “In Harvest,” brown and wild rice combined with red rice, sprouted brown rice and grano (pearled durum wheat) creating an interesting blend. When making risotto traditionally, the rice cooks in a good bit of butter. I opted to spray the rice blend lightly with butter non-stick cooking spray. It imparted a little flavor but mostly kept the rice from sticking to the pan (this is optional). All told, I used one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to saute the vegetables and the rice. For a recipe that serves four, that’s not too bad.
Dry Vermouth has an herbacious and off dry flavor that enhances whatever it is added to. I’m currently infatuated with Trader Joe’s brand. It is imported from Italy, comes in a full liter bottle and is very reasonably priced. It’s also good on the rocks with a twist of lemon.
I had some Semi-Homemade Chicken Broth in the freezer that provided the bath that cooked the rice. The broth started as a box of chicken stock enhanced with onion, garlic, and herbs that I used to poach chicken for another dish. I strained the broth and froze it for just this kind of occasion.
The chicken came from the freezer as well. Saved from a Beer Butt Chicken, it was the perfect protein addition with no effort on my part. Mama D Tip: Any time you are preparing a whole chicken using any technique, always make at least one extra. It doesn’t take any extra time and your future recipes will thank you.
Risotto is a labor of love and takes time to do it right. This version took about an hour because of the rice blend that I used…even using traditional Arborio takes a while, so factor that into your meal planning. Risotto usually has butter, cheese, and sometimes cream added to up the luscious factor. I opted for a small amount of light onion and chive cream cheese spread to give that creamy mouth feel.