Monday, May 20, 2013

5 Grain Risotto with Mushroom & Chicken

A twist on the traditional risotto, this recipe combines 5 whole grains, mixed wild mushrooms, chicken, and  just a hint of balsamic.  Mmmm, mmmm!  I can't decide what I love most about this recipe - healthy whole grains, amazing mix of textures/colors, rich flavors.... Need I go on?   Once again, our BFF's were gracious enough to be my guinea pigs for this new recipe.  Guests usually get the old tried and true recipes, but these guys are one of a few that get to test out the new ones!  (Which, of course, means there will be cute baby pics at the end of this post!)

5 Grain Risotto with Mushroom & Chicken


- 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cooked and finely chopped**
- 4 T. butter (or 2 T. olive oil if you have more will power)
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- 3 c. mixed wild mushrooms, washed and chopped
- 1/2 c. red wine
- 2 1/4 c. 5-grain mix*
- 2 quarts chicken (or vegetable) stock - use low-sodium or substitute 2 c. of stock with water or the risotto can become too salty
- 4 oz. grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 c. grated gouda cheese
- 1 T. balsamic reduction (or balsamic vinegar - I like to cook it down first because it's sweeter and has less of a bite)
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- fresh basil, for garnish

*5-grain mix
- 3/4 c. arborio rice (short grain white)
- 1/2 c. short grain brown rice
- 1/2  c. barley
- 1/4 c. wild rice
- 1/4 c. quinoa

**Vegetarian? Leave out the chicken - it's perfect even without it!


1.  In a large pot, boil chicken in enough water to just cover.  Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.  I usually let it cook for about 30 minutes, so if you start this first, it will be cooked by the time you are ready to add it to the risotto.

2.  In a Dutch oven or large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add sliced onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and wine and cook, stirring, for about 2-3 minutes until softened.

3.  Wash grain mixture and add to the pot.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

4.  Add 1 cup of stock, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Reduce heat slightly, if needed to maintain a gentle simmer.  Continue adding stock, about 1/2 c. at a time, stirring frequently, until mixture is tender and creamy, but still somewhat firm (about 35-40 minutes).  You may not use all the stock.

5.  Add the gouda and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese, continue stirring.  Remove chicken from boiling water, finely chop, and add to the pot.  Add additional cup of stock if grains become too dry.

6.  Remove from heat, stir in balsamic reduction (or vinegar) and remaining parmesan cheese.  Season with freshly ground pepper, and garnish with fresh basil.

And now, for the cute baby pics!  It's so much fun having these two together lately - they actually chase each other, giggle, and PLAY!

tea party! 
maybe we should teach Peanut how to sip...

don't they look soooo innocent?
yea, I didn't think so either...

partners in crime already!

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