An Italian Sin: Meat and Rice TOGETHER.

Alright, look. I don’t care how many plates of Olive Garden ‘Italian’ Shrimp and Rice you’ve had. How many ‘Italian’ Sausage and Rice Risottos you’ve eaten made by a family member who has an aunt who is half Italian on her Step-Dad’s side. I also don’t care how ‘Italian’ your ingredients are. In Italy (where I live and married an Italian man), it is nearly a SIN to put Meat and Rice together. Why? I don’t know. I think its perfectly acceptable, damn right DELICIOUS in fact… but in Italy, IT DOESN’T HAPPEN as a TRADITIONAL Italian dish. No. It doesn’t. There. Now that the bullarky-cloud has been fanned off, I’m going to show you how to make a very delicious Risotto that IS traditional but I added chicken because I was in the mood for it. Also, because I’m American an in America Meat and Rice is allowed.

Here is what you will need for Risotto di Pollo e Spinaci for 2 people:

3/4 cup of Arborio Rice (http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/ricegrains/p/arborio.htm)
1 cup of Cold Water
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cups of cooked Chicken
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 heaping handful of snipped/cleaned Spinach (fresh is always best, but frozen is OK too)
1/2 cup of grated Grana (Parmigiano Reggiano)
Black Pepper to taste (I like a lot in mine)

Put your Olive Oil in a pot and snip your chicken directly in. Put your burner on Medium and cook the chicken until its White.

Add your Rice and Water and Salt. Move it around a little with your spoon to make sure all of the Rice gets some water. Turn the heat down a tad to Medium-Low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Your Rice should be cooked, but not mush, with a nice creamy look to it. If too much water is cooked off, it will taste starchy and a little too dry.

Add in your Pepper and Grana and Stir until you down see the cheese anymore. Put the Spinach on top and fold it in. If you stir the hell out of it the spinach will get all tangled up in a ball and thats a little gnarly.

Doesn’t that look awesome? My Italian family here give me a hard time OFTEN for being so American. I mean come on… I put Mustard on my French Fries and I always have a I-smile-because-I-have-no-idea-whats-going-on look on my face. I’ll use my American-ness as an excuse for the chicken+rice sin.  Its acceptable.

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