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Mushroom and Balsamic Chicken with Arancini

29 Aug

As much as I love risotto the day of, I absolutely abhor it the day after.  No matter how I try to heat it up (stove top, microwave, oven), it ends up gummy and lackluster.  So, when I heard about arancini, or fried risotto, I was very curious to try it out.  While most of the recipes I came across called for deep fried balls of risotto, I decided to make patties and pan fry them.  I hate to use all of the oil and there’s something about deep frying that makes me recoil.  The end result here was the perfect way to use up leftover risotto, and something I will certainly be repeating.  The outside was crispy, the risotto was creamy, and the enclosed mozzarella was the perfect molten-y goodness.  These were incredibly easy, although ridiculously messy, to make, and would make a perfect appetizer.

The chicken was also moist and tasty.  I love balsamic and it perfectly complemented the umami of the mushrooms while not overwhelming the flavor of the chicken or zucchini.  Paired together with the arancini, this dish was a real winner.

Mushroom and Balsamic Chicken with Arancini

Serves 2

Mushroom and Balsamic Chicken:

3 medium sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup yellow squash, thinly sliced

1 tbs. olive oil

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried marjoram

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tbs. butter

1 cup homemade chicken stock

Season chicken breasts on both sides with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.  In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken breasts and sauté until lightly golden brown on each side (roughly 4 minutes per side).  Add mushrooms, yellow squash, thyme and marjoram to pan.  Continue to sauté until mushrooms are slightly browned and squash is tender.  Add balsamic and chicken stock.  Cover tightly with lid and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove cover and remove chicken breasts.  Cover with foil.  Increase heat to medium-high and reduce balsamic/chicken stock mixture by half.  Add tablespoon of butter.  Serve by spooning vegetables and sauce over chicken.

Arancini (Fried Risotto):

1 1/2 cup leftover creamy risotto

1/2 cup jasmine rice, cooked (or an extra 1/2 cup leftover creamy risotto)

2 eggs, beaten, divided

1 oz. mozzarella, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

2 tbs. canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine risotto, jasmine rice and 1 egg, beaten.  Mix together thoroughly.  Form into patties roughly 3 inches across and 1 inch thick.  Insert cube or two of mozzarella into center of patty.

Place flour in a shallow dish.  Place remaining beaten egg in a second shallow dish.  Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.  Coat each patty with flour, followed by egg, followed by bread crumbs.

Heat canola oil in a large sauté pan until shimmering.  Pan fry risotto patties until deep golden brown and mozzarella is melted, roughly 4-5 minutes per side.

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