well of the pan. The dough can be draped loosely in the well; no need to press it in perfectly. Fill the
dough to the top with the risotto mixture, using it all. Bake until golden brown at the edges, 40 to 45
minutes. Let the risottos cool in the pan for 10 minutes (no longer, or they will become soggy), then
loosen the sides of each risotto with a table knife and pop them out of the pan.
If using puff pastry, unroll the puff pastry and cut each sheet crosswise into 3 equal strips, and then
cut each strip into thirds, for a total of 18 pieces. Set aside 12 pieces to use for the pan (see “Savory
Tidbit” on page 44 for ideas on how to use the extra pastry). Line each well with 1 piece of puff pastry,
stretching each piece slightly in both directions and letting it overhang the edges of the well slightly.
(Make sure any pastry overhanging the well doesn’t touch any other pastry or the pieces will fuse
together when baking.) Using a 1⁄3-cup (75-ml) measure, fill each well with the risotto mixture, using it
all. Bake until the pastry has puffed and turned golden brown, 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of each
risotto with a table knife and pop them out of the pan.
Store the risottos in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat, wrapped in tin
foil, for 15 minutes at 350oF (175oC).
To pound the chicken cutlets or breasts, place them in a large zip-top bag. Cover the bag with a
tea towel and gently pound with a mallet or the bottom of a heavy saucepan. Leave the chicken in the
bag—you can use it to toss the chicken with the rest of the ingredients. The cutlets should be 1/4 inch
(6 mm) thick. Some markets sell chicken cutlets ready to go in 11/2 - to 2-pound (680- to 910-g)
packages. Make sure there are six pieces that can be cut in half lengthwise, each half about 3 1/2to 4inches (9 to 10 cm) long, to fill the wells.
Chicken Cutlet variation
One seemingly odd choice is to use a chicken cutlet as the wrapper. I thought it was crazy as well; then
I made it, and wow! Now I know how to get that yummy risotto filling inside that thin, juicy, flavorful
chicken wrapper without drying out the chicken. The whole dish reminds me of a Greek avgolemono
soup with chicken, rice, and lemon.
Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
6 chicken cutlets or breasts (2 pounds / 680 g), pounded to ¼ inch (6-mm) thickness and cut in half lengthwise (seeNote)
Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or parsley from a tube
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 12-well classic cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Prepare the vegetables and risotto following the instructions on page 85.
In a large bowl, toss the breasts with the salt and pepper, parsley, lemon juice, and cayenne, until well
coated. Lay a piece of raw chicken into each well, overhanging the edge. Fill each well with the risotto
mixture using a 1⁄3-cup (75-ml) measure.
Fold the chicken over onto the filling, forming a package, and bake until firm to the touch but not dry or
browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
Let the risottos rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then loosen the sides of each risotto with a table knife,
and pop them out of the pan, keeping them upright. Pour the juices in the bottom of each well over the
risottos prior to serving.