Ricotta Risotto, Stuffed Chicken, and Quasi-Matignon
June 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
E: This dish was inspired both by the ravioli that we just posted and by the pear and ricotta stuffed chicken that went up in mid-May. We used the leftover ravioli filling to stuff some chicken, which came out really well, and so I decided to re-make it and post about it. I made this about a week later, so this is still a blast from the past—thankfully recipes, unlike food, don’t spoil. To go with it I made a risotto, which is pretty standard fare here on Nombudsman, and a really excellent quasi-Matignon which became so much the star of the dish, flavor-wise, that I decided it should have enough space to present itself to you, dear readers.
For those of you scoring at home, a Matignon is generally a combination of minced onions, garlic, and celery, sautéed in butter with thyme and bay leaf and then served with a pinch of salt and a dash of white wine. I already had a risotto so I didn’t want to mince the veggies, and decided to cut them into sizeable chunks for some texture. These were about the best healthy preparation of vegetables I’ve had in recent memory, and I just wanted to keep eating them. In short, I highly recommend this quasi-Matignon preparation!
Also, I made some extra risotto with the intent to make the extra into risotto cakes. That came out pretty well, so expect a post about it soon. I am slightly reducing the amount of rice here because, in my eagerness for leftovers, I added enough rice that I ran out of stock and had to add some water at the end.
For the risotto:
1 qt broth (I used vegetable because I had some on hand, but use what you like)
1.25 cups arborio rice
1 onion, halved and sliced into half-circles
1/3 to 1/2 c. vermouth
3 shiitake mushrooms, diced small
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. emmentaler
1/2 c. ricotta
2 sundried tomatoes, minced
salt and pepper
For the chicken:
2 chicken fillets
1/2 c. ricotta
1/4 c. emmentaler
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp minced onion
3-4 leaves basil, chiffonade
1 leaf of sage, chiffonade
salt and pepper and olive oil to season
panko bread crumbs (optional)
For the Matignon:
2 stalks celery
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper to taste
splash of vermouth
Start on the risotto, because that will take the longest. Slice up your onion and toss it in a large skillet with some olive oil. I didn’t go all the way to caramelizing it, but I cooked it until it started to brown and become sweet while I was working on other things.
While this is going on, wash your fillets and slice a pocket into them. Grate up your emmentaler, and chop/mince other ingredients as needed. Also, put your stock for the risotto heating in a pot on the stove. You want that to be hot by the time you need to add it to the rice.
Once your onions are ready, add the rice and fry it in the pan for a few minutes until hot, stirring to keep it from burning. I usually keep a pretty close eye on this part. Once the rice is hot, add your first 1/2 cup or so of stock and stir.
Stir this fairly frequently until the stock is absorbed, which shouldn’t take long, and then add another 1/2 cup of the stock. Keep doing this: adding stock, stirring occasionally until the stock is absorbed, and after 20 minutes or so checking for done-ness between additions of stock. If you need more complete directions, check out one of our previous risotto posts.
While the risotto is going, add the cheeses, herbs, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper as called for by the recipe for the chicken into a mixing bowl.
Don’t worry if you have fewer herbs on top of yours. I was careless and used too much sage here (it was supposed to be my garnish) and it came out a little bit overpowering. Start stuffing the chicken, and preheat your oven to 350F. Use your fingers to stuff the pockets you sliced into the chicken. Once the fillets are stuffed, add them to a greased baking dish, baste them with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper like so.
Once your stock for the risotto is about half gone, you can toss the chicken in the oven. I’d say it needs about 20 minutes, but check it because your oven may be different. If you have panko breadcrumbs you want to use, sprinkle some on top of the chicken about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through the cooking process.
Dice up your shiitake mushrooms, and cook them in some oil until they are soft. When they are done, toss them in the risotto with the minced garlic.
When you think you are about 10 minutes away, start your quasi-Matignon. Heat some olive oil or butter in small skillet, and add the onions, carrots, and celery.
Heat this on medium if you have big pieces like this. Once the onions have softened and the carrots are almost at a good done-ness for your preferences, add the last pieces. Put in the minced garlic, salt, pepper, and a solid splash of vermouth or other white wine. If you asked me to estimate more precisely, I’d say to use about 1/4 to 1/3 cup.
Let the wine cook off while the garlic softens, toss together and they are ready to serve. Extract your chicken from the oven, and if that is cooked through it is ready as well. By this point the rice for your risotto should be tender. Just mix in the two cheeses and some minced sundried tomatoes if you have them. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
I hope you like it.