Another healthy recipe from the chefs at the hospital café©; seared chicken breast served over a roasted asparagus risotto and topped with a red pepper coulis. What makes this so unique is that Executive Chefs Pete McGahey of Beverly Hospital and and Dave Gauvin of Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester are making this to exclude any dairy (such as cheese) or any other of the top allergens. It is a virtually allergen safe meal.
McGahey shows how easy it actually is to make risotto if you follow a few basic rules. First, you must use the Arborio rice, which comes from a region of Italy of the same name and is grown for this purpose. Most of the time it will only take about twenty minutes to make, but it does require constant stirring.
Also, while this risotto is flavored with asparagus, you do not want to add it until the end, about five minutes from finishing and after the last of the chicken broth has been added. The end result that you want to achieve is a rice that is still somewhat firm or al dente, and not one that is mushy.
A chicken cooking tip comes from Executive Chef Gauvin. He explains that the big mistake people make when pan searing the chicken is to move it or touch it while cooking. He suggests that if you just leave it alone, and let it cook itself up to temperature, you will get a moist chicken that is more tender.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
11/2 cups Arborio rice
2 cups chicken broth
2 4-ounce boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 asparagus spears, cut into ¬ inch pieces.
1. Sauté© onion in olive oil over medium to high heat until golden brown.
2. Add rice and toast it in the pan for about 21/2 minutes.
3. Add 1/4 of broth and stir while simmering. Continue to add 1/4 of the broth every 5 minutes or so until it becomes absorbed by the rice.
4. Prepare chicken breasts by coating both sides in olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Begin to sauté© in a pan over low to medium heat. Turn once until the inside of the chicken breast is cooked and reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F.
5. After risotto has absorbed most of the liquid, add asparagus and cook another 5 minutes while stirring. Risotto should be firm or al dente, not mushy.
6. Add risotto to a bowl, slice chicken breasts into strips and lay on top of the risotto. Top with red pepper coulis.
Recipe courtesy of Chefs Pete McGahey and David Gauvin, Unidine, Beverly Hospital and Addison Gilbert Hospital, 2012.