Turkey Cherry Risotto

When we were in WA, we stopped into a cute little store advertising dried cherry products.  Turns out with was Chukar Cherries, one of the nation’s premier dried cherry gift set companies.  In addition to picking up serveral bags of Organic Dried Cherries and some fantastic Dark Chocolate Cabernet Cherries, I picked up a recipe for Turkey Cherry Risotto.  The dinner was quite tasty, but it does need more spices. 

Turkey Cherry Risotto
Adapted from Chukar Cherries

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced (I omitted this)
2 cups Arborio rice
1 bay leaf
1 fresh thyme sprig
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 cups chicken stock
1 cup cooked turkey meat, diced (I roasted a turkey breast and used one breast, roughly 2 cups, to stretch the dinner)
1/2 cup Chukar Dried Cherries, any variety
1/4 cup toasted almonds or pine nuts
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat, add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add rice, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until absorbed. Continue to add stock 1/2 cup at a time, keeping rice barely covered, until rice is tender and creamy. This process takes about 20 minutes. Add turkey, dried cherries and toasted nuts. Cook 5 more minutes. At this point the risotto may be set aside and kept warm for up to an hour. Just before serving stir in butter and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

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