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Risotto with Mushrooms, Chicken and Lentils

This is an example of how dried mushrooms can be an economical pantry item for a punch of flavor. I bought a one-pound jar of mixed dried mushrooms for about $19.50, or 12 cents per ounce. For this dish, I hand-selected about 1.5 ounces of various mushrooms and reconstituted them in two cups of warm water– resulting in a lovely flavored liquid combined to the warm chicken stock toadd flavor to the rice.
Raiding the fridge, I came across a container of chopped meat from a roasted chicken, a half container of brown mushrooms, a cup of leftover cooked lentils and the last of a bulk of fresh arugula. Here’s the result.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


Basic Risotto

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine or vermouth
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock, heated
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons butter (to finish)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Additional ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups cooked chicken cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1.5 ounces dried mushrooms
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 2 ounces fresh arugula or parsley


  • Reconstitute the mushrooms in about 2 cups warm water for at least 15 minutes until mushrooms are softened. Drain, reserving the liquid. Chop the mushrooms into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
    Follow the standard risotto recipe, and toss in the thyme when cooking the onions. Substitute two cups of the chicken stock for the liquid from the mushrooms. After the last two ladle of stock is added, stir in the mushrooms, lentils, thyme, cooked chicken and arugula to heat through. Add the butter and cheese, and add salt and pepper until it tastes good to you. Serve warm.
Keyword arugula, budget friendly, chicken, leftovers, lentils, mushrooms, Risotto