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Monday, March 5, 2012

Chicken and Buffalo Andouille Risotto - Virtual Potluck

The Virtual Potluck crew recently teamed up with The Buffalo Guys to do a round of blog posts about incorporating various buffalo sausages into a dish.  Since I needed to test out my recipe for chicken and andouille risotto anyway, I decided to give it a try with the buffalo andouille that was so graciously sent to me.

I knew the dish would be pretty similar to a chicken and sausage jambalaya.  The main difference is that the Arborio rice used to make risotto is a short grain Italian rice which cooks a little differently than a longer grain Louisiana rice.  The method for cooking risotto is to slowly add stock little by little, allowing the rice to soak in the flavors as you go, rather than boiling and covering the rice until it has absorbed all the water, as is common in most Cajun dishes.  A risotto should yield a dish that is ultimately similar to jambalaya (in this case, using the Trinity, chicken, and andouille).  The rice should end up cooked through, soft, and perhaps even a bit creamy without being mushy.

Chicken and Buffalo Andouille Risotto 
Makes 4-6 servings
Fresh Herbs from the Garden

  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 quart water
  • Several sprigs fresh herbs (flat leaf parsley, thyme, cilantro, oregano from my Harb's Oasis herb garden)
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 pack (12 oz) buffalo andouille sausage
  • 1 cup medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs shopped curly parsley for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper



In a 4-6 quart stock pot, add the chicken stock, water, herbs, and carrots and bring to a boil over high heat.  In an enameled cast iron pot (or another stock pot), heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan over medium high heat.  Cut the chicken thighs and Andouille into bite-sized pieces.  Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken to the oil followed shortly by the andouille and brown them until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes, but don’t overcook because you still want the chicken to be juicy.  Transfer the chicken and Andouille and juices to a mixing bowl, the return the pot to medium-high heat.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil followed by the onions, celery, green bell pepper, and garlic.  Saute until the onion becomes translucent. 

Strain the herbs and carrots out of the stock.

Add the Arborio rice to the pot with the onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic, and let it soak up any liquid that might be in the pot.  When everything is dry, scoop in two ladles worth of stock and stir with a wooden spoon until all the stock has all been absorbed.  Add another ladle of stock and stir.  Continue to add stock, one ladle at a time, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes.  Add the reserved chicken and sausage and continue to ladle in stock and continually stir for another 10 minutes or until the rice has absorbed enough liquid.  Taste the risotto for seasoning and texture of the rice.  Adjust salt and pepper as needed.  If rice still has a little crunch, continue to ladle in stock and cook, stirring regularly, until the rice has absorbed enough stock to be soft throughout but not mushy.

Scoop a pile of risotto onto a plate and grate some fresh parmesan cheese on top, then sprinkle with chopped parsley as a garnish. 



Discount on Buffalo Sausage

Would you like to try some buffalo sausage for yourself? The Buffalo Guys will offer a 15% discount off any hot dog or sausage purchase through the end of March 2012. Just go to their online store and enter the code VIRTUALPOTLUCK when you check out. I’m sure they would also appreciate it if you gave their Facebook page a LIKE.