For a spice that is so popular, I must say that trying to find Aleppo Pepper out here in the culinary wasteland of the Philadelphia suburbs is nigh-on impossible. Thank goodness for online shopping or our culinary staples would be reduced to white bread and black pepper.

Aleppo pepper is named for the city of Aleppo in Syria – a city that has been inhabited for upwards of 8,000 years. Longevity doesn’t translate to peace, however. Because of continued war in the area, the spice now comes mostly from Turkey.

The pepper is mildly spicy compared to other crushed red peppers, and has a unique sweetness, as well. It’s quite flavorful.

Aleppo Pepper Risotto

Risotto with Aleppo Pepper

  • 1 chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup arborio, carnaroli, vialone nano, or other risotto rice
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 heaping tbsp Aleppo pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • S&P, to taste

Saute chicken in a combination of butter and olive oil until just starting to brown a bit. Add minced garlic and aleppo pepper. Saute until chicken is almost done.

Add 1 cup of rice and saute until the rice is translucent. Add 1 cup white wine and stir until most of it has been absorbed.

Heat the broth and add by half-cupfuls, stirring and waiting until it has been absorbed before adding the next. About halfway through, add the asparagus and green onions.

Continue cooking and stirring, adding broth by half-cupfulls, until rice is fully cooked.

Stir in the cheese and the butter. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as desired.

The combination of pepper, chicken, rice, and asparagus just seemed to work. Of course, I think cardboard would have worked with this. The flavors were exceptional.

The leftovers are going to be worked into a chicken soup.

More fun cooking!

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