Risotto is an Italian rice specialty made by stirring hot stock into a mixture of rice (and often chopped onions) that has been sauteed in butter. The stock is added 1/2 cup at a time and the mixture is stirred continually while it cooks until all the liquid is absorbed before more stock is added. This labor-intensive technique results in rice that is delectably creamy while the grain remain separate and firm. Risottos can be flavored variously with ingredients such as chicken, shellfish, sausage, vegetables, cheese, white wine and herbs. The famous RISOTTO MILANESE is scented with SAFFRON. The use of Italian ARBORIO RICE is traditional in the preparation of risotto.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Large onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
- 2 large pinches saffron
- 3 to 4 cups chicken stock, kept HOT
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ to ¾ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Coat a large saucepan generously with olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and sweat them until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Bring the pan to a medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, letting the rice slightly stick to the bottom of the pan and scraping it off. It should also sound crackly.
- Add the saffron to the hot chicken stock; the stock should turn bright yellow.
- Add the wine to the pan until it covers the surface of the rice. Season with salt and cook over a medium-high heat, stirring continuously until the wine has absorbed into the rice.
- Add the saffron chicken stock to the pan until it covers the rice. Cook over a medium-high heat, stirring continuously until the stock has absorbed into the rice.
- Repeat this process two more times with the hot saffron chicken stock. When the third addition of the stock has absorbed and the rice is very creamy, bite a couple grains of rice to be sure it is cooked perfectly. If it is still a little crunchy, add a little more stock and cook the rice for another couple of minutes. When the rice is cooked perfectly, remove it from the heat.
- Toss in the butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano and “whip the heck out of it.” The rice should be creamy but still flow and hold its own shape.