Pulled Chicken + Butternut Squash Risotto


By Dane Feldman

Photo by Dane Feldman.

Considering the fact that most people are busy partying, taking their kids out trick-or-treating, or handing out candy, I assumed I ought to provide a particularly fall-like recipe for those hoping to reward themselves by staying in tonight. This butternut squash risotto is perfect for a Halloween/fall-themed dinner party and just as wonderful if you intend to stay home alone. Happy Halloween!

What you’ll need for the pulled chicken:
2 boneless chicken breasts
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp adobo seasoning

Bring the broth to a boil in a pot and add the bay leaf, seasoning, and chicken. Let simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Cool and separate with forks in order to create the pulled texture. Set aside.

What you’ll need for the risotto:
1 lb butternut squash, cubed
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 shallot, minced
5 tbsp light butter
2 tbsp pecorino romano cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp turbinado sugar
Black pepper

Melt three tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan. Add in the squash and cook for five minutes on medium heat. Stir and cook for five more minutes. Pour in a half cup of chicken stock, sugar, and black pepper to taste. Stir, cover, and cook until lightly browned. Pour in a half cup of the wine and cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes or until the liquid evaporates. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a pot. Stir in the shallot and cook until softened. Add the rice and cook for 3-4 minutes to toast and stir constantly. Pour in the remaining wine and simmer until the liquid evaporates and continue to stir regularly. Stir in a half cup of chicken stock and cook until the liquid evaporates. Repeat the previous step until there’s one cup of chicken stock left.

Stir the chicken into the pot and add the squash. Pour in the remaining cup of chicken stock and cook until dissolved, stirring regularly. Plate and top with the cheese, remaining butter, and black pepper to taste.