Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken with Three Cheese Creamy Risotto and Arugula Fennel Salad

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 bottle light-bodied dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais

2 shallots, sliced

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

Small bunch fresh basil

2 cloves

1 dry bay leaf

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons cold butter, diced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 1 pound, preferably organic, trimmed and squared off a bit

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 slices bacon, not thick cut, from 16-ounce package

2 tablespoons olive oil

Arugula-Fennel Salad:

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups baby arugula, 2 ounces, trimmed and washed

1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced, 1 1/2 cups

Three Cheese Creamy Risotto:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 (1/4-inch) thick slices pancetta, 4 3/4-ounces, diced, 1 cup

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 1/3 cups Arborio rice, 9-ounces

1/2 cup white wine

3 cups chicken stock, heated

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1-ounce

2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, 1 1/2-ounces

1-ounce goat cheese

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Sauce:
  3. In a medium saucepot, over medium heat, combine the wine, shallots, and garlic and bring to a simmer. Add the basil, cloves, and bay leaf, and let simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. When reduced, add the chicken stock, and continue to simmer until reduced by half. Strain into another sauce pan and stir in the butter. Season the mixture with salt, and pepper, to taste. Keep warm.
  4. Chicken:
  5. Season the chicken lightly with salt, and pepper, to taste. Lay 4 slices of bacon crosswise on a cutting board with the slices slightly overlapping. Put a chicken breast on top of the bacon. Bring the bacon slices up and around the chicken so the entire breast is wrapped. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and bacon.
  6. In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Get the pan and oil hot, and then add the bacon-wrapped chicken and cook until the bacon is crispy on both sides, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake, until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 to 18 minutes.
  7. Salad:
  8. Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Season the salad with salt, and pepper, to taste. Put the arugula and fennel into a large bowl and toss until well coated.
  9. Scoop some risotto nicely into the center or each plate, making sure it has some height so the chicken can stand up. Cut the chicken on a bias and put on top of the risotto. Drizzle some of the red wine sauce around the plate and directly over the chicken. Top each plate with some arugula salad and serve.
  10. Serving suggestion: Three Cheese Creamy Risotto, recipe follows.

Three Cheese Creamy Risotto:

  1. Heat a large pot (wider is better than taller) over medium heat and add the olive oil and pancetta. Cook the pancetta until it begins to crisp, and then add the garlic and shallots. Cook the shallots and garlic until they begin to brown in color. Add the rice and stir well to coat. Cook the rice for 1 minute.
  2. Add wine and stir well. Stir the rice until the wine is almost completely absorbed. Add in some chicken stock until rice is just covered and stir again until the stock is absorbed into the rice. Continue to gradually add the stock, stirring well after each addition, until the rice is cooked through, but still has a bite. You may not use all of the stock.
  3. When rice is cooked, stir in the cheeses and basil. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Season with salt, and pepper, to taste. The risotto should be smooth, creamy, rich, and delicious.

Cook’s Note

Risotto is a dish that requires a lot of stirring, but it's worth it! The more you stir and pay attention to it the better it will taste.

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