Pumpkin Risotto with Sage Roasted Chicken and a visit to Burt’s Farm in the North Georgia Mountains

Pumpkin Risotto with Sage Roasted Chicken and a visit to Burt’s Farm in the North Georgia Mountains

Fall is definitely with us. The temperatures are beginning to cool off and the leaves are starting to change. It will soon be Halloween and then Thanksgiving and before you know it, it will be icy and snowy and freezing cold Christmas! That’s what the stores are telling me anyway. Have you seen the Christmas decorations that showed up in August this year?!

On the road again...I can't wait to get on the road again!

Anyway, I am a happy camper (NOT!) to have Fall in our midst, however, I will miss all of the wonderful Summer produce (peaches!). When I think of Fall and Winter cooking, I think of squash, more squash and of course, pumpkins (and lots of them, too!).

Burt's Pumpkin and Popcorn Farm

I decided I would get on with the program purchase a pumpkin to get into the swing of Fall, so I pulled Mr. Bunkycooks away from his college football game hard work this past weekend and we went for another On the Road with Bunkycooks adventure!

Burt's Pumpkin Patch!

When you say the word “pumpkin,” you might as well say Burt’s Farm (although that’s two words) if you live anywhere near Dawsonville, Georgia. To locate Burt’s Farm on the map, click HERE.

This guy has more pumpkins than he has sense you could ever want! They even have hayrides with singing pumpkins at this place and more useless stuff than you could ever imagine. I really need to go back and see the singing pumpkins…what was I thinking to miss that?!

Look at all the white pumpkins!

If you are looking for decorations for Fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving including gourds, squashes or lots of pumpkins, you have definitely found your source (if you live anywhere near the North Georgia mountains).

I bought one lonely pumpkin, since I am depressed trying to adjust to the new season slowly. I am sure you are wondering why I would then haul our butts in this big ass RV to buy one pumpkin. Well, it just would not have been as much fun to get that pumpkin at Publix, would it now?

Wall of corn!

I decided to make what I would consider to be a perfect Fall dish for a chilly evening (although it wasn’t so chilly when I made it). I know cooler temps will soon be with us, so I am thinking ahead.

You have to have popped corn if you have all these ears of corn!

Here is my recipe for Pumpkin Risotto with Sage Roasted Chicken. This dish is earthy and flavorful and perfect to pair with a nice bottle or Burgundy or Chianti. You don’t want to overpower the flavors in the risotto, so don’t yank out that big fat Cabernet that you have been dying to drink!

Yes, this is Moonshine Jelly!

This is a classic risotto, so there is some stirring, but it will be so worth it when you take the first bite! I made sage butter roasted chicken breasts to add to the risotto, but you could certainly serve it without the chicken as an entree or a complimentary side dish. I drizzled a little Black Truffle oil over the finished risotto for one more layer of decadent flavor!

These would make a whole lotta risotto!

Pumpkin Risotto with Sage Roasted Chicken

Serves 4


2 chicken breast halves, with bone in and skin on
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon chopped sage
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 1/4 cups diced (1/4 inch) peeled, seeded, fresh pumpkin (preferably from a Sugar Pumpkin)
3/4 cup finely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (I use Swanson’s Organic)
2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
8 ounces Arborio rice
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) chopped, fresh thyme
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ounce grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/3 cup)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Black Truffle oil


For chicken:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, mix together the softened butter and chopped sage. Rub the butter mixture all over the chicken breasts (including underneath the breast bone and under the skin). Bake in a shallow baking pan for thirty to 40 minutes until the temperature is 160 degrees at the thickest part of the breasts. Remove from the pan, lightly cover with aluminum foil and let rest until cool enough to cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside the cut-up chicken breast. You will have some leftover after making the risotto.

For risotto:
Cook diced pumpkin in a medium saucepan in simmering water until tender, two to three minutes. Drain and set aside.

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan and keep at a low simmer. Add fresh thyme sprigs. Cook shallots in olive oil in a medium heavy saucepan (or risotto pan) over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about two minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, one minute. Add one cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering, adding broth one half cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about fifteen minutes total. * You should have about one half cup of broth left.

Add in the cooked pumpkin, cooked chicken breast (I added about one cup), chopped fresh thyme (to taste). Add another one half cup of broth and stir constantly until almost all is absorbed. Add butter and grated Parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Taste for seasonings.

Serve immediately. Drizzle with truffle oil (optional) and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

49 Responses to “Pumpkin Risotto with Sage Roasted Chicken and a visit to Burt’s Farm in the North Georgia Mountains”

  1. 1

    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — September 29, 2010 @ 11:09 am

    Great post and so pretty! Love the combination!

  2. 2

    Lazaro — September 29, 2010 @ 11:16 am

    Lovely risotto dish. Great flavor combinations.

  3. 3

    Mandy Lea — September 29, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    Love anything and everything pumpkin in the Fall. Thanks for sharing this unique recipe. I would have never thought to put pumpkin in risotto.

  4. 4

    Monet — September 29, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

    I think I might be making this over the weekend. It sounds so good! And I loved seeing those pumpkin patches. It reminded me of my childhood! Thank you for sharing. I adore sage and chicken, so I knew this recipe was going to be a winner. Have a great day!

  5. 5

    Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris — September 29, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

    Woww !!! I have never seen so many pumpkins in my life!!! It is true that Halloween is not a big issue neither in France nor in Argentina…
    The risotto looks great! I will make it even if we don’t celebrate Halloween…

  6. 6

    Jennifurla — September 29, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    Great patch, lovely pumpkins. This dish looks heavenly

  7. 7

    Anne — September 29, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

    I absolutely LOVE pumpkins in savory recipes! This sounds wonderful, and I can’t wait to try it!

    Your pictures are so beautiful – they’re all exactly what I love about fall :)

  8. 8

    Barbara | VinoLuciStyle — September 29, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

    I made a butternut squash last year and this made me think of it; perfect fall dish. Bet risotto is great with pumpkin too.

    And WOW; what a farm and a funny collaboration of things to sell; thanks for the road trips…you know why!

  9. 9

    Cristina @ TeenieCakes — September 29, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

    Gwen: I want to go on these visits with you! You see and do the most interesting visits and write-ups. Just gorgeous all those brightly colored pumpkins and fall-related items.

    On another note – I am so into risotto right now. Had the most amazing risotto about a month ago and now can’t get enough it. Thanks for sharing this pumpkin risotto. 😉

  10. 10

    Belinda @zomppa — September 29, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

    Christmas lights? No, too early. Those pumpkins look AWESOME! The season is upon us…great recipe.

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 11:03 am

      Yes, Belinda! All kinds of Christmas decorations…wrapping paper, lights, ornaments. Too much too soon!

      Thank you for the comment!


  11. 11

    Becky — September 29, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

    i made a similar dish with the butternut squash last year. Can’t wait to try your pumpkin risotto. We also made a pumpkin stew, cooking the stew in the oven in the pumpkin. Will be posting this later.

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 11:01 am

      Hi Becky,

      Lotsa pumpkin going around this time of year! I will be curious to see how the pumpkin stew turns out!


  12. 12

    Gigabiting — September 29, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

    Beautiful gourds. And what a taste of fall with the recipes.

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 11:02 am

      Thanks so much!

  13. 13

    Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron — September 29, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

    What a great recipe! Savory chicken and pumpkin is a great addition to the risotto. I’m not a big fan of risotto but this recipe makes it interesting enough for me to make an attempt to cook!

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 11:01 am

      Hi Tanantha,

      Risotto can be rich. I think that adding a few other ingredients helps to minimize the heaviness of the dish.

      I hope you give this recipe a try.


  14. 14

    Suzanne — September 29, 2010 @ 11:12 pm

    What a great pumpkin farm ya’ll went to, love the photos. You are so creative with your recipes, risotto with pumpkin sounds good.

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:59 am

      Thanks, Suzanne!

  15. 15

    Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective — September 29, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

    Ah, I love fall risottos like this! So comforting.

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:58 am

      @The Waspy Redhead

      Thank you for your comments!

  16. 16

    The Waspy Redhead — September 30, 2010 @ 1:11 am

    This looks amazing – I adore risotto.

    I can’t get over how cool that pumpkin farm is. Looks like it was a fun trip. Thanks for sharing!

  17. 17

    penny aka jeroxie — September 30, 2010 @ 1:16 am

    i have never seen a pumpkin laid out like that before! They are gorgeous!

  18. 18

    Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread — September 30, 2010 @ 8:01 am

    Lovely photos! I adore autumn risottos with pumpkin and winter squashes. Great dish!

  19. 19

    Lucy — September 30, 2010 @ 10:10 am

    Love Burt’s Pumkin Patch! I used to take my boys there when they were little, though we haven’t been in years. Fun to combine the pumpkin trip with an apple picking trip too! The risotto sounds yummy, savory and comforting. I will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing.

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:53 am

      Hi Lucy,

      Thank you for leaving a comment. Burt’s is one of the larger pumpkin patches that I have seen. It would be fun to make a day of it with apple picking, especially for kids!


  20. 20

    foodies at home — September 30, 2010 @ 10:56 am

    That is the most amazing pumpkin patch I have ever seen! I am totally jealous at this moment! And your risotto looks great too!

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:51 am

      Hi there,

      Thank you for your comment. Their pumpkin patch is pretty crazy!

  21. 21

    Nancy/SpicieFoodie — September 30, 2010 @ 11:38 am

    Yumm, love the risotto. Christmas decorations in August? really, geesh. The pumpkin patch is so pretty, I wan to go there.

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:49 am

      Hi Nancy,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, unfortunately, I have seen several stores with Christmas stuff in August this year. It ruins the holiday when you start thinking about it in the Summer. Retailers really need to rethink that whole process.

      BTW, the pumpkin patch is fun. I need to go back to see the singing pumpkins! :)


  22. 22

    Drick — September 30, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

    thanks for another great road trip – that sure would help me with getting into the fall spirit … what I like about this recipe Gwen is that it is not all pumpkin, I mean, I can only east just a few bites of pumpkin… great combination of flavors…

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:47 am

      Hi Drick,

      Thank you for commenting. I agree, too much pumpkin can overwhelm a dish. I like the textures and flavors with the chicken. It truly makes risotto a main dish meal.

      Hey, come on up to GA and NC! I will be happy to take you on a road trip!


  23. 23

    shea — September 30, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

    I love your pictures…..and what a great recipe! thanks!

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:45 am

      Thank you, Shea.

  24. 24

    Chef Dennis — September 30, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

    OMG….that is pumpkin heaven…what a great farm! thanks so much for bringing us along on the visit! I love risotto, and have never thought of using pumpkin, other than pies I have to admit I rarely use pumpkin….that really should change.
    Thanks so much for the inspiration!

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:45 am

      Hi Chef,

      Thanks for the comment. Pumpkin is wonderful in so many dishes, especially when it’s one of the few choices we have this time of year! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!


  25. 25

    Feroze — October 1, 2010 @ 8:23 am

    This recipe is so good and so amazed about the pumpkin pictures
    loved the post

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:44 am

      Thank you for your comments.

  26. 26

    Jenny Nguyen — October 1, 2010 @ 9:48 am

    I made risotto last night but with lemon zest and lotsa butter… It’s renewed by love for risotto and now I want to cook more! I’ll post about it in the next couple days :)

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:42 am

      Risotto is delicious this time of year and there are so many great options to add to the basic recipe. I will look forward to seeing yours. :)

  27. 27

    Sortachef — October 1, 2010 @ 9:50 am

    Great. Just great, Gwen. Perfect colors and a lovely recipe. And can I just say… Happy October 1st. What a beautiful kickoff!

    • bunkycooks replied: — October 1st, 2010 @ 10:41 am

      Thanks so much! I can’t believe we are already into October, as of today. There will be lots more pumpkin to come!

  28. 28

    Kim - Liv Life — October 1, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    What a fun day! And you got some wonderful pictures to go with it. OK… did you bring home the moonshine jelly?? Had to smile at that one, I’d be curious to taste it.
    Thanks for the risotto recipe. We are fairly picky when it comes to risotto, but this one looks so good! I’m with you… I’m struggling to accept this arrival of fall as well.

  29. 29

    Matt Kay — October 1, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

    Wow Bunky! Amazing photo. Totally deserving of top 9. Congratulations.
    I actually do live near Dawsonville so I’ll have to make a little road trip. Burts looks great.
    Great recipe too!

    Matt Kay

  30. 30

    Priscilla - She's Cookin' — October 1, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

    Yes, indeed! What a grand entree to October. Stunning photographs of your risotto and the pumpkin patch! Fantastic fall flavors – I love it!

  31. 31

    redkathy — October 1, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

    Hey Bunky, wish I would have been on this pumpkin trip with you, looks like loads of fun! You are so right about the Publix buy, way more fun from the farm or pumpkin patch. Your risotto, well it looks super yummy and quite a delightful way to honor the season! Bravo on the photos, popping with color!

  32. 32

    Kim — October 2, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

    It’s official: You’ve officially put me into the mood for autumn. How can I resist with these “On the Road with Bunkycooks” series?!

    Will tab this for when the weather gets a little cooler. :o)


  33. 33

    The Mom Chef — October 2, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

    Wow, that’s amazing. I’m glad our daughter didn’t see those pumpkins or we’d have had to bring a big one home! Your risotto looks incredible. It’s such a comfort food and I love pumpkin so it would be perfect for me.

  34. 34

    Debi (Table Talk) — October 7, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

    We are flirting with fall here in VA- one day 68, the next day 80. Seeing pictures like this get me in the mood for picking apples and heading out to the pumpkin patch.
    Pumpkin risotto waiting for me when I got home wouldn’t be bad either! Love the black truffle oil.

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