Happy Friday! That one day of the week where you get to work with a sigh and a smile, because you just know what is coming up. Two days of blissful freedom from the tangled web of work we weave ;) hahaha..unless your everyone -- who has children, a second job or are in grad school and the weekend just provides the solace of being grumpy at home! Just kidding (kinda). I am convinced, with an emphasis on CONVINCED that November is just not my month. Don't get me wrong, I can handle a major thing going wrong and even a few little things here and there. But when those little things happen continuously, and at all the wrong times....I just wanna regress and build a fort in my master bedroom and refuse to come out. So why I am I so sure, well last year at this time, I found out Ninja tore is ACL and had a luxating patella. This year, my academic woes seems to be insurmountable. And that fort....its looking pretty good! I mean when a hurricane, tsunami or earthquake are coming we take cover right? ;) I know, I'm special...in all the weird ways...
Moments and days like that, convince me (you know...CONVINCE) me that being a stay-at-home wife is my calling. I love all things domestic. Especially being in the kitchen, cleaning and care-taking. My sister says I put women back 50 years. That is totally not my intention. I am all for liberation and awesomeness. But I also know, that there are different strokes for different folks. Different things that float one's boat. And different things that inspire us and make us happy. I am married to a hubby who would not mind either way. He's absurdly supportive...or maybe remarkably indifferent? hahaha...But I find such comfort in my home, and just love being in the kitchen. So I have always been good at school. I am not saying I do not love it. I love academia, research and working with children. Amazing life experiences. Am I convinced this is my true calling, not sure. But who says a PhD cannot be at a stay-at-home wifey...or a rogue rebel baker?
I have been craving all thing that I have made before. And this time, my taste buds wanted risotto. Which I have made before (Mushroom Risotto and Cajun Sausage Risotto). But this time, I wanted something spicy. I love spicy foods! It must be the Sri Lankan inside of me :) The hubby has definitely acquired a level of spice tolerance since meeting me. I searched high and low for spicy risotto recipes and nothing caught my fancy. So I decided, what they hey...why not just be a scientist in the kitchen, play around a bit and see if I can make something that is just what I am craving. And sure enough I did. And the hubby loved it ::spoiler alert:: (I think so much so, that this might go on his hubby 2013 favorites). It was delicious! And this time I tried actual Arborio rice vs. Jasmine or Basmanti rice.
4 c. of chicken borth
3 tsbp. olive oil
11 oz. chicken strips (I use Tyson's Grilled Chicken Strips), cooked
1-3 tsp. crushed red chili peppers*
4 oz. (~ 1/2 c.) chopped poblano peppers
1 tsp. chili powder*
3 green onions, diced
1 c. rice (Arborio preferred, long grain rice as substitute)
1/4 c. cooking wine
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
*Add amount based on desired spice preference
In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in chicken strips and satue until warm (The Tyson's Grilled Chicken strips come cooked. If you are using raw chicken, cook until chicken is no longer pink in the center). Empty chicken onto plate and set aside. Heat an additional tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. of crushed red peppers. Saute until fragrant. Add in poblano peppers -- cooking until tender and no excess liquid remains. Empty into bowl and set aside. Cooking the poblano peppers with a little crushed chili will add spice to the peppers.
In a pot, bring chicken broth to a boil, then reduce heat and keep warm over low heat.
In a skillet, heat 1 tsbp. of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in 2 tsp. crushed red chili pepper (or less if you prefer less spice), chili powder and green onions. Saute until fragrant and translucent, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add in rice and stir well to coat with olive oil-mixture. Cook rice for an additional 3 minutes, stirring only occasionally.
Next add in cooking wine and cook until all the wine is absorbed -- stir constantly. Continue to cook rice by adding 1/4 c. of warmed chicken broth at a time into the rice, stirring continuously until broth has been complete absorbed (it best to use a ladle to add the chicken broth). Do not add more broth until the previous amount has been entirely absorbed by the rice.
Continue adding increments of chicken broth and allowing rice to absorb all the broth -- do this until all the broth has been used and rice is cooked through (add more broth if rice needs additional cooking). Rice should be tender.
Once risotto is cooked stir in Parmesan cheese until well incorporated and cheese is melted. Finally fold in chicken and poblano peppers. Garnish with additional crushed red peppers if desired.