Balsamic Risotto with Roasted Chicken & Spinach Salad with Bosc Pears


Balsamic Risotto with Roasted Chicken  |  Spinach Salad with Bosc Pears, Cranberries & Red Onions

Balsamic Risotto with Roasted Chicken

For the Chickens… { Note:  I roast two whole chickens for this recipe so as to ensure enough meat for chicken sandwiches to send off in the children’s lunches tomorrow. Halve the amounts of these ingredients if you are roasting only one chicken. } 

  • 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil {plus extra for coating}
  • 16 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
  • 2 whole chickens, 2-3 pounds each {rinsed & dried with a paper towel}
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Pour 6 tablespoons of the oil into a large roasting pan.
  3. Mince 8 cloves of the garlic.  In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and the parsley.
  4. For each chicken, beginning at the neck, loosen the skin from the chicken breast with your fingers. Spread the garlic mixture over the breast under the skin.  Place 4 whole garlic cloves into the cavity of each chicken.  Brush both chickens all over with olive oil & season with salt & pepper.
  5. Place the birds into the oven and roast for 30 minutes.  Remove roasting pan from oven and rotate birds {breast side down}.  Return to oven and roast for another 30 minutes.  Once again, remove pan from oven and rotate birds {breast side up}.  Return pan to oven and continue roasting the birds for a final 30 minutes.
  6. Transfer birds to a cutting board {reserving pan juices} and let cool to the touch.  Remove meat from bones and cut into bite-sized pieces.

For the Risotto…

  • 8 cups dark chicken stock
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ of a large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a saucepan, over medium-high heat bring the stock to a gentle simmer and maintain over low heat.  
  2. In a large heavy pot {I like to use my Dutch oven} heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until softened.
  3. Add the rice & stir until each grain is well coated with oil and translucent with a white dot in the center.  Add the balsamic vinegar and stir until it is completely absorbed.
  4. Add the simmering stock one ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after each addition.  Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed {but the rice is never dry on top} before adding the next ladleful.  Reserve ¼ cup of the stock to add at the end.
  5. When the rice is tender to the bite but slightly firm in the center and looks creamy, stir in the roasted chicken.  Cook until heated through, about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and stir in the butter & reserved stock.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Serve at once.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe found in Williams-Sonoma:  Risotto {Simon & Schuster}.

Now for the salad…

  Spinach Salad with Bosc Pears, Cranberries & Red Onions

The salad dressing was amazing…

Monday after a holiday weekend is always difficult but, when Michael needs to get on a plane bound for Finland for a week, the impact of MONDAY is so much greater than normal.  Safe travels sweetheart…we will miss you!

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