Thursday, May 6, 2010

bacon-infused risotto

A few weeks ago, I had a package of bacon.  Remember it?

I loved that bacon.

One of my favorite creations to emerge from that package of bacon is what I have called Bacon-Infused Risotto.  It’s a fun twist on risotto that tastes phenomenal!

First, get about 4 cups of chicken broth warming in a saucepan…you’ll need it later.

Then dice up 3 pieces of bacon and cook in a large nonstick skillet until they get crispy.  Remove your bacon to a separate dish for now, but keep the grease!

That grease is the secret ingredient for our recipe.  Most risotto recipes that I’ve seen begin with olive oil or butter.  This one begins with bacon grease…flavorful, flavorful bacon grease.

Grab 1 cup of sliced mushrooms and 1 cup of baby carrots.

Add these to your bacon grease and saute until the mushrooms are tender.

Throw in a cup of Arborio rice and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Let it get infused with that bacon grease.

And before you start thinking that this recipe must be really bad for you, check the nutritional stats at the bottom.

Told you so!

Add your spices – garlic powder, oregano, and black pepper.  How much of each?  That’s up to you.  I added a smidgen of garlic powder and oregano and several dashes of black pepper.  But that’s just my style.  You can do it whatever you want – even add different spices.

Then add 1/2 cup of warm chicken broth.

 Cook and stir until the liquid has completely cooked off.  

And then do it again…

…and again…

…and again…

…and keep on adding 1/2 cup of chicken broth at a time, letting the liquid completely absorb each time before you add more.

After you’ve used about 3 cups of chicken broth, taste test your rice.  Traditionally risotto is cooked until al dente, but I often cook mine just a little bit more.  If your risotto has the texture you want, stop adding broth.  If it’s a little too crunchy, continue adding broth (1/2 cup at a time) until it reaches the texture that you want.

Once your rice is perfect, add about 1 cup of diced, cooked chicken and 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese.  Stir into your rice and let the cheese melt.

When you serve your risotto, top with those crunchy bacon bits for a final touch!

Bacon-Infused Risotto
3 slices bacon, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup Arborio rice
Garlic powder (to taste)
Oregano (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, warmed
1 cup diced, cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet until crispy.  Remove bacon for later use, leaving bacon grease in skillet.  Saute mushrooms and carrots in bacon grease until the mushrooms are tender.  Add rice and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add spices to taste.  Pour 1/2 cup of chicken broth into skillet; cook and stir until liquid is completely absorbed.  Continue adding chicken broth (1/2 cup at a time, letting it absorb in between each addition) until rice is al dente or reaches desired tenderness.  Stir in diced chicken and Parmesan cheese; allow cheese to melt.  Top each serving with cooked bacon pieces.  Serves 4.

IBS variation - use turkey bacon, cook carrots slightly before adding, and leave out the cheese.

Nutrition: 293 cal, 5g fat, 2g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 25mg cholesterol, 719mg sodium, 44g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 16g protein, 108% vit. A, 6% vit. C, 8% calcium, 18% iron.

This post is linked to Foodie Friday!


  1. Oh my gosh this looks great! I still have some leftover arborio rice from my last risotto. And the best thing is that this is something the hubby would love!

  2. Bacon & risotto? Sounds like heaven!!! YUMM!!

  3. All I can say is YUM! I just made a green apple asparagus risotto - the addition of bacon would have put it over the top!

  4. mmm I have not made risotto yet...I have it in the pantry. I don't know if you ever watch Hell's Kitchen with Chef Ramsey, he always hollers at the chefs for over or under cooking the risotto, so it makes me afraid!!!

  5. I wouldn't be afraid, Shannon! The important thing is that you make it to the constancy that you are the one eating it, after all. Just start taste testing after you've used 3/4 of your broth, and you are good to go!

  6. This takes risotto to a whole new level. I love bacon too. Your pictures are fabulous. I will definitely make this one! Two yummy thumbs up!

  7. wow this looks great! Thanks for visiting today!!

  8. I think if bacon were good for you, I would eat it every day. Man that sure looks delicious!

  9. I don't think bacon is bad for you. It's comfort food. If it tastes good, it's good for you! Enough said. Just don't eat it at every meal.


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