Risotto is a classic Italian dish made with arborio rice that’s cooked to a creamy consistency. Unlike Russian versions of rice porridge (kasha), Risotto is made without milk. The warm, rich texture of the dish makes it a perfect appetizer or entree for the cold winter months.
While it’s relatively simple to prepare, it does take some practice to get the balance of the ingredients just right.
Risotto is very sensitive to timing and requires attention during the cooking process. That said, the end result is well worth the work you will invest. Follow the instructions below to get started with a basic chicken and wild mushrooms recipe. As you perfect the dish, try to experiment with various herbs, spices and veggies to make it uniquely YOURS.
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion or 2 shallots, finely diced
1 cup wild mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (can re-hydrate dried mushrooms)
1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
4-6 cups chicken broth
1 chicken breast (cleaned and cubed)
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped basil (or dill)
1 tbsp Rosemary and Thyme (finely chopped)
Prep Time: 15min
Servings: 4 – 6
1) Wash mushrooms and finely dice the onion or shallots. Set aside a portion of the mushroom to cook add at the end. Cube chicken breast and sauté with onions, and mushrooms in a medium sized pan coated with extra virgin olive oil. Once fully cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
2) Pour chicken broth into a sauce pan and heat until almost boiling.
3) Add arborio rice and portion of diced onions to a pan coated with olive oil and cook on medium heat until onions are translucent and rice grains appear opaque white. Add 1/2 cup of white wine. Slowly add warm chicken broth, one ladle at a time.
4) Continue to cook rice, adding more chicken broth as the liquids evaporate. Stir continuously to prevent clumping.
5) Add cooked chicken-mushroom mix, and reserved mushrooms to the rice and cook for 3-5 minutes, adding liquid broth as necessary.
6) Stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese and herbs and mix well. The rice should be thick with a creamy consistency.
Serve and garnish with fresh herbs and a bit of grated cheese on top.
Cooking Time: About 20min
Try using all-natural dried Porcini mushrooms (re-hydrate before cooking) to add flavor and texture to the Risotto. Dried mushrooms have a longer shelf life than fresh mushrooms, so stock up for the winter to use in soups and stews.