Pumpkin Risotto with Chicken

by Lisa on November 4, 2009

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.

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