Swiss Chard Risotto with Chicken Meatballs

Prep Time

15 Minutes

Cook Time

105 Minutes


Serves 6


Most ingredients are available in Antonio’s Market!


For the Broth

1 ea Onion, Coarsely Chopped
1 ea Carrot, Peeled, Cut into 1in pieces
1 ea Celery Rib, Cut into 1in pieces
1 ea Bay Leaf
2 ea Thyme Sprigs
1 lb Chicken Thighs, Skin-On, Bone-In
Fine Sea Salt

For the Meatballs

2 ea Slices of White Sandwich Bread, Torn into small pieces
2 tsp Flat-Leaf Parsley, Finely Chopped
1/2 cup Whole Milk
1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1/8 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 tbsp Carrot, Peeled and Finely Chopped
1 ea Sage Sprig
1 ea Thyme Sprig
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
3 tbsp Butter, Unsalted

For the Risotto

5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ea Garlic Clove, Gently Smashed and Peeled
1 bunch Swiss Chard, Leaves finely chopped, stems and center ribs reserve for another use
1 ea Shallot, Finely Chopped
2 cups Arborio or Carnaroli Rice
1 1/2 cups Dry White Wine
1 cup Freshly Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
4 tbsp Butter, Unsalted
Fine Sea Salt

Method of Preparation

1. For the broth- Remove skin and bones from the chicken thighs, set aside meat.
2. In a large, wide saucepan, combine skin and bones, onion, carrot, celery, thyme, bay leaf, a generous pinch of salt and 6 cups of water.
3. Bring just to a boil.
4. Then reduce heat to a gently simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare meatballs.
5. For the meatballs- Cut reserved chicken into small cubes, then finely chop.
6. In a large bowl, soak bread in milk until softened, about 1 minute.
7. Squeeze out excess milk and return bread to bowl.
8. Add chicken, parsley, salt and pepper.
9. Mix until just combined well, then form 1 tsp portions into 30 ( 1 1/4 in) balls.
10. In a large saucepan, arrange meatballs in a single layer.
11. Add carrot, butter, sage and thyme.
12. Cook, covered over medium heat for 10 minutes.
13. Add wine and bring to a simmer.
14. Reduce heat to love and cook, covered, until meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
15. Remove and discard herbs.
16. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep meatballs warm.
17. For the risotto- in a large saucepan with a lid, heat 2 tbsp oil and garlic over medium heat.
18. Add chard and a pinch of salt.
19. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes.
20. Remove and discard garlic, set aside chard.
21. Strain broth (from steps 1-4) into a saucepan through a fine, mesh sieve, cover to keep warm.
22. In a medium saucepan, heat remaining 3 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.
23. Add shallot and reduce heat to medium-low, cook for 5 minutes.
24. Add rice, cook, stirring for 1 minute.
25. Then add wine, cook, stirring, until liquid is mostly absorbed.
26. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth.
27. Cook, stirring frequently, until broth is mostly absorbed.
28. Continue adding broth in 1/2 cup-fuls, stirring frequently, and allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is tender yet still slightly firm to the bite.
29. Stir in chard, cheese and 1/2 tsp salt.
30. Adjust seasoning to taste.
31. Serve risotto immediately with meatballs and their broth on top.

Recipe Source

La Cucina Italiana Magazine, March/April 2013 Issue