I bought a big bag of great looking garlic at my market not long ago and worked my way through most of it one or two cloves at a time in the normal course of cooking. As it was starting to take on the feel of a permanent resident of my fridge, I decided that I needed to come up with a recipe that would allow me to use up the few remaining heads in one fell swoop. Enter this dish, which puts two heads of sweet, roasted garlic to excellent use. We roasted the two remaining heads as well, and used them to spread on slices of grilled rustic bread, and to perfume some EVOO for dipping oil.
If you've never done it before (shame on you), roasting garlic couldn't be easier. I actually have a little terra cotta garlic baker, because quite frankly I have every little kitchen gadget known to man, the good, the bad, and the useless. If you have a similar covered baking dish, great. If not, just wrap the heads in a couple sheets of aluminum foil before placing in the oven. Remove any loose paper-skin from the head of garlic and chop off about a half inch from the top of it to expose a bunch of the cloves. Drizzle with some good olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in a covered baking dish, or wrap it tightly in the foil. Place in a 425℉ oven for about an hour et voila, sweet roasted garlic. Once it cools slightly, you can pry individual cloves out for use, or invert the head and squeeze the whole thing over a bowl to extract all the goodness within.
We used peas, chicken and fontina to finish this risotto, but feel free to use whatever cheese, meat and veggie you like. The risotto making process shouldn't change regardless of what you add, though you may want to blanch less tender veggies in advance if not using the peas.
Cheers – Steve
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 sweet onion, finely minced
- 2 1/2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- leaves from 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 heads of garlic, roasted
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese
- 1 pound, boneless, skinless chicken (tenders, breasts, or thighs...you choose)
- kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- fresh parmesan and parsley for garnish
- Heat he stock and 4 cups of water in a medium pan, keep warm.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks, season with salt and pepper, and saute in a skillet set over medium-high heat with a little EVOO until nicely browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and reserve.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy bottomed pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent , about 5-6 minutes. Add the rice and thyme stir to coat until shiny, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until it is fully absorbed, stirring frequently.
- Start adding the hot stock to the rice, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting all the liquid be absorbed before adding another ladle of stock.
- While the rice is cooking, squeeze the roasted garlic from it's skins and add it to the remaining butter in a small bowl, mash together with a fork and reserve.
- When you have about 1 cup of stock left to add to the rice, check it for doneness, it should be just tender but still have a nice bite to it. Add the garlic butter, the cheese, the chicken, and thawed peas and stir to incorporate. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm while you ready bowls, salad etc. Just before serving, loosen with a little extra stock if desired. Pass chopped fresh parsley and freshly grated parmesan at the table.