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Date night with Duncan (Melissa)

garden risotto

Duncan and I set a date to cook (we used to do this a lot), and she told me about this recipe she had made that was delicious. So what kind of friend would I be if I didn't let her cook it for me? :) I poured the vino and kept her company...and baked some chicken to go with it. I know she made some minor tweaks, but I wanted to share the recipe so that everyone else can enjoy as well! I believe the main difference was that she used more white wine...when I asked how much more, she just answered "a lot more"...ha. Enjoy! Garden Risotto:

approximately 3 chicken breasts (optional)

few pieces of your favorite bread (I used sourdough)

few dashes Italian Seasoning

approximately 2 teaspoons of butter

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

3/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 lightly packed cups baby spinach leaves

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 pound asparagus, steamed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (optional)

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and marinade with your favorite sauce. I tried the new Lea & Perrins Chicken marinade. Bake for approximately 20 minutes (depending on thickness). Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of the hot broth, the salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper and simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more, until rice is almost tender and creamy-looking, about 18 minutes. Add the spinach and peas and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the asparagus and cook just until the vegetables are hot. Stir in the Parmesan and more broth or wine if the risotto seems too thick. Brush the slices of bread with softened butter and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning. Place under broiler for just a couple of minutes.

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