Now that fall is upon us, I’ve been wanting to try some savory pumpkin recipes in addition to my usual standby cookie and quick bread recipes. I made some tasty pumpkin chocolate chip cookies a week ago and with the leftovers decided to try making some pumpkin risotto. I decided to try a variety with chicken in it but I am sure this would be equally tasty as a vegetarian dish as well. It came out really creamy and flavorful, despite the healthy label the original posting site gave it. Risotto always seemed complicated to make – but aside from taking a little bit of time standing at the stove, it’s really not hard! It would make for an interesting addition to Thanksgiving dinner, or a nice tasty dinner for a cold November evening as we enjoyed it!
8 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
2 cups short grain Italian rice (such as Arborio)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
8 ounces chopped skinless chicken
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 – 3/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
Salt to taste
1/2 cup grated hard cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano
Instructions: Bring the chicken broth to a simmer. In a separate deep heavy duty skillet, saute the onion in the olive oil and 1 tbsp butter until it is translucent but not carmelized. Stir in the rice and toast the rice while stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the pumpkin, chopped chicken breast, nutmeg, and 2 cups of the simmering chicken broth. Stir until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time and allowing the rice a minute or two to absorb the liquid each time before adding more. After about 15 minutes of adding liquid, taste the rice – if it is too hard, keep adding liquid until it is soft. When the rice is soft, remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and other tablespoon of butter.