Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Risotto is a classic italian rice dish with a creamy texture. It is not hard to make and is forgiving if you have to leave the stove (say to attend to a child or two?). It can be made vegetarian, beef, chicken, or seafood. I prefer chicken. So here is a basic recipe, great for a chilly night. The creamy texture is made when the starch from the rice is released. You have to stir it a lot to release that starch.

Serves 4-6 hungry people

1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup arborio rice, special rice for risotto, only use this or it will be super sticky like sushi rice
3 shallots (small mild onions) or 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine- I use Pinot Grigio-optional, but use something you would drink
or 1/4 tsp lemon zest and 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice it will brighten it up like the wine would
6-8 cups low sodium chicken stock, I buy the organic, it really does make a big difference here
1 cup green peas, frozen is fine
Sea Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1-2 breasts sautéed chicken, cubed

Heat the butter and oil on med. heat in a dutch oven (Le Creuset type) or just a large non-stick skillet. Saute the onion and garlic 2-3 min. Add the rice and mix to coat in the oil. Allow it to cook about a minute while you stir it. *Add the wine and stir until it is just about absorbed or add the lemon here*. Add about a cup of the stock (I pour from a measuring cup, easier). Stir until this is just about absorbed. Keep adding one cup at a time and stirring. You add it slowly to release that starch. Once it takes longer to absorb the stock it means the rice is nearly done. Do a taste test. Check for rice being done. If not, keep adding stock. If it is done, add your peas, chicken, cheese and season it with salt and pepper. Allow it to heat through. Serve with remaining wine and/or some fresh bread. Enjoy!

image via epicurious

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