My parents are in Italy traveling through Positano, Rome, and Naples. Rough life. My dad keeps texting me pictures of pasta, pizza, pastries, and wine. I reminded him several times that he promised me last year on my death bed that he would take me back to Italy one day. Now you see it in writing that yes, he indeed made a promise and I will keep reminding him! This simple Italian dish is family friendly and full of flavor. Arborio rice, chicken thighs, vegetables, white wine, and chicken stock are all combined in a one dish dinner that is sure to satisfy. Give this a try!
Italian Chicken & Rice
1½ pounds boneless , skinless chicken thighs
1 cup onion, cut in 1-inch chunks
1 cup carrot, cut in 1-inich chunks
1 cup celery , cut in 1-inch chinks
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 fresh bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups hot chicken or turkey stock, plus more if needed
2 cups Italian short-grain rice, such as Arborio
2 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated plus more for serving
Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs, and cut them into 1-inch chunks.
Using a food processor or a blender, mince the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic until fully combined into a wet mixture. Pour the olive oil in the saucepan, and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the vegetable mixture, and season with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture has dried and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Toss in the chicken pieces and the bay leaf, and sprinkle over it the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Tumble and stir the chicken in the pan until browned and caramelized all over, about 4 minutes. Raise the heat, pour in the white wine, and cook, stirring and scraping up the browned bits in the pan, until the wine has almost completely evaporated.
Pour in the hot stock, stirring, then all the rice. Bring to the boil over high heat, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to keep the rice bubbling gently. Cook for about 14 minutes, or until both the rice and the chicken chunks are fully cooked and the consistency is creamy.
Turn off the heat, drop in the butter pieces, and stir vigorously until combined then stir in the parsley and 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Spoon the dish into warm pasta bowls and serve immediately, passing additional grated parmesan cheese at the table.
This is from Lidia’s Italy cookbook (a personal favorite). Check out the recipe online at Lidiasitaly.com