Rice is a deliciously versatile food — and really — it is so much more than just a side dish!
Why not make rice the star of your next meal with our recipe for Buffalo chicken arancini?
Arancini are stuffed rice balls that are breaded and fried. In today's recipe, we put an updated spin on this classic Italian dish by stuffing our arancini with some zesty and flavorful shredded Buffalo chicken and bleu cheese. Then, we serve the rice balls alongside a wonderful bleu cheese dipping sauce and celery sticks — plus some additional Buffalo sauce on the side.
Image: Martha Pesa/SheKnows
Image: Martha Pesa/SheKnows
These Buffalo chicken arancini are filling and delicious, and a meal your entire family will love!
The key to successfully making arancini is to choose the right type of rice — Arborio — when preparing your rice balls. Arborio is an Italian medium grain rice that is firm, creamy and chewy when cooked — and it is the perfect consistency when making arancini as well as risotto.
For years, we've always chosen RiceSelect brand Arborio rice anytime we make arancini at home.
When you buy any RiceSelect product – including the Arborio rice used on our recipe today - you can feel confident knowing that it comes from one of the most experienced and diversified rice producers in the world.
And speaking of good — here’s our recipe for delicious Buffalo chicken arancini!
Image: Martha Pesa/SheKnows Buffalo chicken arancini recipe
Yield: Serves 5-10
Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes | Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes
For the rice: 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 pound Arborio rice
1/2 cup vermouth or white wine
4 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided (plus more as needed)
For the buffalo chicken: 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 2 thighs)
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
1/4 cup Frank’s RedHot hot sauce, plus 2 more tablespoons
For the buffalo sauce: 1 cup Frank’s RedHot hot sauce
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Other ingredients: 3 whole eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded Romano cheese
4 ounces crumbled bleu cheese
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
Bleu cheese dressing, for dipping
Celery sticks, for serving
Directions: In a medium to large pot, over medium heat, place the oil and onions and sauté for three minutes.
Add rice and stir and cook for one minute.
Add wine and stir (the mixture will bubble so be careful).
As soon as wine is absorbed, add one cup of stock and stir. Cook until almost absorbed and add another cup of stock. Continue this method until all of the stock is used and the rice is cooked but still chewy, about 15 to 20 minutes total. Additional stock may be added to reach the cooked but chewy stage.
Pour out onto a sheet pan, cover and refrigerate until well chilled then transfer to a container with a lid and keep refrigerated.
While rice is chilling, and in a separate medium pot or large pan, cook Buffalo chicken. Place chicken, onion, butter, stock, water, cumin, oregano and 1/4 cup of the hot sauce and bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook one hour until chicken is fall-apart tender.
Strain out liquid and discard. Place the chicken and onions in a bowl and shred with two forks. Then, mix in the two tablespoons of hot sauce. Set this aside refrigerated until later.
Make Buffalo dipping sauce by combining hot sauce, melted butter and cumin. Refrigerate until later.
Take the now well chilled rice and stir in the three beaten eggs and Romano cheese. Divide this mixture into 20 balls then flatten each slightly to about three inches round and line up on a parchment lined pan.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and divide the meat into 10 piles. Then, divide the bleu cheese into 10 piles, adding to the chicken piles.
With wet hands, pick up one rice patty and place the chicken and cheese into the center. Lift a second patty and cover the first then press together and shape into a ball. The stuffed rice ball will be about a half pound each and be the size of a baseball. As you form each one, place back on lined sheet pan and then refrigerate until the next step.
Lay out three bowls for breading. In one bowl, beat the two eggs with the milk; in the second bowl, place the flour; and in the third bowl place the seasoned bread crumbs.
In a deep heavy pot such as a Dutch oven or wok, heat enough oil so that it will cover the large rice balls as they cook. The oil should be 325 degrees F, no hotter. You want the center to heat through before the outside gets too brown.
Bread each ball by dipping it first in flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs and placing it on a clean tray as you bread, keeping the round shape.
Using a large metal spoon, gently drop each rice ball into the hot oil cooking in batches to control the temperature of the oil.
Once browned, about three minutes, remove to a pan or dish lined with paper towels to drain.
Serve with bleu cheese dressing, Buffalo sauce and celery sticks.
The rice should be cooked and refrigerated a few hours before assembling and frying. Note:
This post is part of a sponsored collaboration between RiceSelect ® and SheKnows