The other night, while I was deep in the realm of dreamland, I found myself at a wedding reception, and there was a very clear tension in the air. It turns out, the reason for the palpable strife was that the caterer quit in the middle of the cocktail hour. A moment later, the wedding party was asking the culinary equivalent to the question, “Is there a doctor in the house?” At that point, I was tasked to, “Go make something. We have 100 guests.”
Luckily, a Wegman’s across the street magically appeared (saving this from being a nightmare, because Wegman’s always makes me happy). As I walked pensively through the aisles trying to figure out something I could quickly make for the huge number of people, I figured I should use ground meat to facilitate minimal prep and a relatively fast cooking time. So, I bought 25 pounds of ground chicken (even in my sleep, I do servings math) before heading over to the produce aisle to buy ALL the spinach they had.
In the dream, I really wanted to make Risotto…but I didn’t have time to make that, so I made some orzo to serve under the Ground Chicken Florentine. For this recipe, I decided to stick true to the original idea. I also distinctly remember notes of red colour in the meal from my slumber, but I couldn’t remember what ingredient I had used…so in the real grocery store, I picked up some sun-dried tomato to add to the tangible version of this meal.
“How was it?” you ask? Well, it was a dream come true! Sorry for that corny line…I couldn’t help myself, and there’s Polenta more where that came from!
**We used our leftover heavy cream to make Chana Masala for dinner the next night (in a drastic flavour profile turn).
Time: 50 Minutes
- Ground Chicken
- Spinach (and more spinach)
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Julienne Cut)
- Black Pepper
- 1 Cup of Arborio Rice
- 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
- 4-5 Cups of Chicken Stock
- 2-3 Tablespoons of Heavy Whipping Cream
- Parmesan Cheese
- Bring a saucepan with your chicken stock to a simmer.
- As your stock heats, peel and dice your onion and garlic.
- Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large pan, and add your onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until your onion turns opaque.
- Add your ground chicken to the pan, and cook fully. Sprinkle in some black pepper as it cooks.
- When your chicken is cooked, and the liquids in the pan have evaporated, drop in a ton of raw spinach and some sun dried tomatoes, and cook to wilt the spinach.
- Add in your arborio rice, and stir to combine. Allow to sit in the pan for a few minutes.
- Pour and stir in your white wine. Cook until it’s mostly absorbed.
- Working one cup at a time, add in your simmering chicken stock, and allow to absorb. Once the previous cup is absorbed, add the next one!
- When all of your chicken stock has been absorbed, and your rice is cooked and fluffy, add more spinach, and stir to wilt. (I did say I bought ALL the spinach in the dream, didn’t I?)
- Sprinkle and stir in your Parmesan Cheese.
- Lastly, pour in your cream, and fold your ingredients together to fully incorporate.
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!