Thursday, April 06, 2017

Dijon-Brushed Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato and Arugula Risotto

This recipe is from the Autumn 2003 issue of the LCBO’s Food & Drink. After reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I went through a bunch of my old magazines and tore out recipes (then recycled the rest). It did take me a long time to decide to make this, but it turns out the recipe itself is faster and easier than I thought, and very rewarding. I’m writing the recipe without changing it, but next time, I’d consider using only half as much chicken. Our chicken breasts were relatively large, and even after cutting out the inedible parts, we still had too much to accompany the risotto.

1 small sweet potato, cooked (I roasted mine; some squash would work nicely, too)
4 bone-in chicken breasts (see note above)
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/3 cup chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, thyme and rosemary

For the risotto
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small leek, white and light green part only, cut into matchstick pieces
1 ½ cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 ¼ cups arborio rice
1/3 cup Chardonnay or other white wine (I omitted that)
3 ½ to 4 cups hot chicken stock
1 cup tightly packed arugula leaves, torn into pieces, stems removed
¼ cup whipping cream (I omitted that too)
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 425 °F.

Peel and dice sweet potato.

Remove skin from chicken breasts. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Brush breasts with Dijon mustard and cover with fresh herbs, patting gently to adhere.

Roast in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160 °F. Remove from oven. Remove from baking dish and let rest while risotto finishes.

For risotto, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook leeks, mushrooms, thyme and rosemary, stirring, for 4 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a bowl.

Melt butter in a saucepan; add rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add Chardonnay and cook until absorbed.

Add 1 cup hot stock; adjust heat so stock bubbles gently and is absorbed slowly. Continue adding 1 cup stock at a time, stirring almost constantly, for 15 minutes.

Add diced sweet potato and mushroom mixture. Cook, stirring often, adding more stock when absorbed, until rice is just tender.

Add arugula and cream. Cook, stirring for 1 minute, until arugula is wilted.

Stir in parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon risotto into wide bowls and top with herb-crusted breasts. Garnish with watercress and serve immediately.

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