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4 cups chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups short-grain rice, such as the imported Italian arborio
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
1/4 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
2-ounce chunk of fresh Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
1 package (10 ounces) frozen "petite" peas, thawed
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
||Combine the broth with salt and pepper to taste in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. In a separate
3-quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute over low heat, stirring, until the kernels
are coated with oil and are beginning to turn translucent. Add 2 cups of the hot broth and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce to a simmer and cook over low heat, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Give the rice a stir and continue to cook until the rice
has absorbed the broth, 5 minutes.|
||Meanwhile, remove the skin and all fat from the chicken, and cut the meat into 1/2-inch dice. Dissolve the saffron in the
white wine. Grate the cheese and chop the garlic.|
||Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring continuously,
until it turns opaque around the edges, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is
almost cooked through, 1 minute more. Add the peas and cook until they are warmed through, about 1 minute. Add the white wine
and saffron and cook over medium heat until the chicken is just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt
and red pepper flakes.|
||Add the remaining 2 cups broth to the rice, and bring back to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered,
for another 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy, and there are only a couple of
spoonfuls of unabsorbed broth surrounding the grains, 3 to 4 minutes more.|
||Right before serving, stir the cheese into the rice and adjust the seasoning. Spoon some rice in the middle of shallow bowls
and spoon a portion of chicken, peas, and liquid in the middle; the saffron liquid will pool around the rice in a gorgeous way.
• Instead of Parmesan cheese, stir 1/4 cup crumbled soft goat's cheese into the rice just before serving.
• For a more Latin version, in step 1, bring 3 cups chicken broth and 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk to a boil.
Omit the cheese, and in step 3 add 1/4 cup golden raisins when you add the peas to the chicken.