Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
1 cup (250 mL) sweetened dried cranberries
2 cups (500 mL) hot water
1 medium onion
1 cup (250 mL) uncooked Arborio rice (see Cookâ€™s Tip)
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
2 3/4 cups (675 mL) chicken stock
3/4 cup (175 mL) dry white wine such as Chardonnay
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) blanched slivered almonds
2 stalks celery
2 oz (60 g) cream cheese
2 cups (500 mL) diced cooked chicken or turkey breasts
1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1. Combine cranberries and hot water in Small Batter Bowl; set aside. Coarsely chop onion using Food Chopper. Combine onion, rice and oil in Deep Covered Baker; stir using Small Mix â€˜N Scraper®. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 2â€“4 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add stock, wine, salt and black pepper; microwave, covered, on HIGH 13 minutes or until rice is still slightly firm, stirring once halfway through.
2. Meanwhile, toast almonds in (8-in./20-cm) Sauté Pan over medium heat 5â€“7 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Slice celery using Veggie Slicer. Cut cream cheese into cubes using Utility Knife. Drain cranberries using (7-in./18-cm) Strainer; set aside. Carefully remove baker from microwave using Silicone Oven Mitts. Add chicken and celery to baker; stir. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3â€“5 minutes or until rice is tender and risotto appears creamy.
3. Carefully remove baker from microwave. Add cream cheese and almonds; stir until cheese is fully incorporated. Fold in cranberries. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Yield: 6 servings (about 6½ cups/1.5 L)
Nutrients per serving: (about 1 cup/250 mL): Calories 420, Total Fat 13 g, Saturated Fat 3.5 g, Cholesterol 50 mg, Sodium 470 mg, Carbohydrate 51 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 23 g
Cook's Tip: Arborio rice is an Italian short grain rice that can be found in the rice or ethnic section of most grocery stores.
If desired, substitute an additional 3/4 cup (175 mL) chicken stock for the wine.
To cook on the stovetop, soak cranberries as directed in step 1. Place almonds into (12-in./30-cm) Skillet. Cook as directed above and remove from Skillet. Add onion, rice and oil to Skillet. Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until onion is softened. Add stock, wine, salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer; cook 13 minutes or until rice is still slightly firm, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, prepare celery, cream cheese and cranberries as directed in Step 2. Add chicken and celery; cook 2-3 minutes or until hot. Remove from heat. Continue as directed in Step 3.