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This dish just about scratches an itch. I thought it was a pretty successful approximation of risotto, given that the cauliflower has zero of the starch of risotto rice. The hubbs wasn’t fooled, but he enjoyed it anyway.

Gluten-free, paleo, possibly Whole30 depending upon your bacon


Lemon Chicken Thyme Paleo Risotto

Based on Creamy Pumpkin Sage “Risotto” with Bacon by My Living Nutrition

4 slices bacon
2 leeks (white and light green parts only)
4 cloves garlic
Half a head of cauliflower
1/2 cup white wine
1-2 cups stock
1 cup full fat coconut milk
2 tsp. thyme
1/4 cup parmesan (optional)
1 Tbsp. preserved lemon
2 tsp. arrowroot powder + 1 Tbsp. cold water for a slurry (optional)
Salt & pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Place a large pan over medium heat and chop your bacon. Add to the pan and fry until crispy. Remove from the pan, leaving 2 Tbsp. fat.

While the bacon is crisping, wash the leeks and slice into thin coins. Mince the garlic. Get started breaking the cauliflower down into florets so you can rice them in the food processor.

When the pan is free, add the leeks and garlic and sautee, stirring occasionally until the leeks go all soft and start browning at the edges. Finish turning your cauliflower into rice while this is working and gather your liquids. Dice your preserved lemon. Gather your thyme.

When the leeks and garlic are starting to brown, add the cauliflower “rice” (about 4 cups) and the wine. Cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated. Add the 2 tsp. thyme and 1 cup stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until the rice looks almost cooked through. If your mixture gets too dry during this process, add the second cup of stock.

Add the coconut milk, parmesan if using, and preserved lemon and simmer, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until thickened.

If at this point your risotto isn’t thick enough (or if you didn’t use parmesan), make a slurry out of the arrowroot powder and water and add to the mixture. It should thicken almost instantly. Taste your risotto for seasoning. Add salt/pepper/acid until it is where you want it to be.

While your risotto is bubbling away, chop your chicken into bite-sized pieces and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sautee over medium-high heat in 2 Tbsp. fat of choice (bacon!) until cooked through.

Serve the chicken over the risotto, sprinkled with the bacon.

Serves 2 for dinner + 1 for lunch