#ad Easy to Make Dinner Idea!
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We all need more easy to make dinner ideas in our arsenal- am I right? Especially ones that look fancy enough for a romantic night, a time when you are cooking for two, or even when you are having company over. This is that kind of recipe, easy enough for a regular night, but fancy looking enough to pull out for those special occasions. Check it out!
For this one, I took some help from the store and used these fabulous Roasted Bell Pepper and Garlic Tyson Chicken Breast- I may be hooked on these. Not only were they delicious, but when I went to Sam’s Club to pick them up, I got this big bag that I can use for multiple meals (especially if I am only cooking for two) for under $10! They also have demos going on right now, the next one is on May 25th, and they are an awesome resource for ideas!
For this recipe I used:
- Tyson Roasted Bell Pepper & Garlic Chicken Breast (1 per person)
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1 carton or two cans of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 parmesean cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- Oil, salt and pepper
This is one of my very upscale fake out dinners- I have always felt that way about risotto, but pairing it with this chicken keeps things easy but only bumps up the impressive factor. The first thing I want to mention is while I am making risotto, you will notice that the rice you need is arborio, that is because risotto is a method, not a type of rice. That can be confusing in the beginning but that is the hardest part of the whole recipe, trust me! People are always impressed by risotto, but you shouldn’t be intimidated!
The recipe starts off with a preheated oven to 375 degrees, then I put my chicken (from frozen, yay!) on one foil lined sheet and my butternut squash on another. I cut the squash in half, cleaned out the seeds and added some oil salt and pepper. In the picture it is face up so you can see the seasonings, but then put them cut side down to roast. These are both going to take around 45 minutes.
After they have been in for about 15-20 minutes, I started the rice, it takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. First I chopped the onion and let it sweat in some oil, then I added my arborio rice and let it cook for a bit, make sure to season to your taste.. The whole method with risotto is that instead of adding all the liquid at once like other rice cooking methods, you do it slowly and in batches while stirring to bring out the starches and make everything creamy. While these are cooking, I put my stock in a pot on the stove with some water to make sure the pot is full. This should just be kept warm, it doesn’t need to boil or anything, this is done to make sure that the liquid is not being added cold and bringing down the temperature of the rice.
Once the rice has gotten a bit of color, I started added liquid, now in most risotto recipes, the first round of liquid is white wine, but I rarely have any on hand so I usually just use stock the whole time and it works fine, completely up to you. I tend to add about 3 ladle fulls or so at a time to make the pan look like the picture below and stir, a lot. As the liquid is absorbed into the rice and the pan looks a like it could use more, you add more! It should take at least five minutes between additions, or your heat is too high. Usually it takes about 4-5 different additions for the rice to be cooked through.
Once the rice is a few minutes from being done, I add the butter and the parmesean cheese. At about this time, the chicken and the butternut squash was done and I pulled them out of the oven. I took the skin off the butternut squash and put it in the food processor with a couple of ladles of stock and a bit more salt and pepper.
I pureed that until smooth and then added it to the risotto. You can make risotto in any flavor but I love using the squash because it sneaks in some veggies for my daughter and she loves it!
After it was all incorporated I just served it up with a piece of the yummy chicken and it was a showstopper!
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