red wine chicken & mushroom risotto

In my last post I went on about how much I love dinner.  The food, the company, etc.  Well, get ready for more of the mushy stuff. Two weeks ago, my aunt and uncle from Florida came up to visit.  I am always looking forward to their stay because we can count on an adventure into the city, some fun and relaxing nights at home, and this year we spent a day on Fire Island as well.  Considering we only see them once, sometimes twice, a year, it always feels really special to catch up and spend some time together in person. The night they arrived I offered to cook dinner for them, my parents, brother, and grandparents.  I dug this old chicken recipe up as I was putting together my recipe book — a topic for a whole other post! Red wine chicken was probably one of the first things I ever cooked for my family (years ago!).  Before my Food & Wine and Bon Appetit reading days, was my source for new dishes and that is where I found this simple and tasteful recipe.

To re-debut the chicken, I paired it with mushroom risotto.  Risotto is one of my favorite sides — you can switch up the flavors to complement almost any meat, fish, or simply veggies! We also had green beans (made special by my dad with his favorite seasoning), and a salad courtesy of my Oma (who always puts together the freshest, most delicious salads!).


Red Wine Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients (serves 8)

For the risotto:

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2  lbs. mushrooms, sliced (I used white since they were on sale, but cremini or shitake would add nice flavor)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 6-8 cups chicken stock OR vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I prefer thin-sliced)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup red wine (I always use wines that you would drink)


For the risotto:

In medium saucepan, bring stock to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter.  Once hot, add mushrooms and a bit of salt and pepper, and allow mushrooms to soften and brown (about 10 minutes).  Remove mushrooms and juices and set aside.  Add the rest of the olive oil and butter to the same pan.  Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender (~3-5 minutes).  Add arborio rice and stir with a wooden spoon, making sure that the rice is coated with olive oil/butter.  This assures that your risotto won’t be clumpy/sticky.  Add the red wine and stir until absorbed.  Add 1 cup of stock and stir until nearly absorbed.  Continue adding 1/2 cup of stock at a time and stirring each time until nearly absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and coated in a creamy sauce.  Add the thyme, parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

For the chicken: 

Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, coat a large skillet with olive oil.  Add garlic and saute until tender (1-2 minutes).  Brown the chicken, in batches if necessary (about 5 minutes on each side).  It is okay if the chicken is not cooked through yet — you do not want it to dry out later!  Drain the oil from the skillet and add all the chicken to the pan.  Sprinkle with the paprika and brown sugar and pour red wine around the chicken.  Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, occasionally basting the chicken with the sauce, until chicken is cooked through.

Chicken recipe adapted from

Mushroom risotto recipe adapted from Whole Foods Classic Risotto Recipe

How I eat it: always with a some chicken and risotto in the same bite!