Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Italian Cooking Kick Continues! Chicken Mushroom Risotto

OK, this will be my second time making this so let's see if I can time it just right. Do NOT let it sit while you finish up something else... it will turn to glue! Be warned! (mine really wasn't glue - but I can tell a big difference from when it was done till the time I took it off the stove)

1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 small sweet onion (chopped)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
Olive Oil (and a little butter)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan reggiano cheese
1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley

1. Heat the chicken stock to a simmer. Keep it hot! (this is key)
2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter and a swirl of olive oil in saute pan, and saute the sliced mushcrooms till they are soft. Remove from heat and set aside for later.
3. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add chopped onion. Saute about 2 minutes, add 2 cloves minced garlic (or more if you love garlic like I do). Saute another minute or two until onion is slightly translucent. Do not let garlic burn!
4. Add the rice to the pot and stir briskly with wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with oil and butter. Saute for a minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma. Do NOT let rice brown. Stir in the wine, continue stirring until liquid is fully absorbed.
5. Add one ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process. IT IS IMPORTANT TO STIR CONSTANTLY, AND ADD THE NEXT LADLE AS SOON AS THE RICE IS ALMOST DRY. THIS WILL BE YOUR UPPER BODY WORKOUT FOR THE DAY. As you see the rice absorbing the stock, it is important to season the rice with salt and freshly ground pepper. It is at this point that the flavor will be absorbed into the rice.
6. Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while liquid is absorbed. As it cooks, you will see rice take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release the natural starches.
7. Continue this ladle at a time process and stirring for 20-30 minutes, or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite (not crunchy). If you run out of broth, and your risotto is not completely cooked, you can use hot water or more hot chicken broth. (I had to the second time I made this.) When you are down to the last few ladles of stock, add the cooked mushrooms.
8. Stir in 2 Tbsp butter, the parmesan cheese and the parsley. Finish seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
9. Risotto turns glutinous if held for too long - serve it right away! It should be soft, creamy mound on a dinner plate (not run across the plate). I put chicken on the top of mine.

Yummy!!! Serve with a salad.

Adapted from About.com and a YouTube video...

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