In celebration of rice week, I thought I’d re-publish this post from a Daring Cooks challenge that I did two years ago. My how time flies!
While risotto is not difficult (I was able to do it, after all!) it is time consuming, and I have to admit that I have not made it since. However, it’s nice to know that I can, and should I ever want to make a meal to impress, I may pull this recipe out.
I had never made risotto before, nor stock, so this was quite an adventure. Here were the directions as given to us:
Stock: 20 minutes prep time, 3 hours cooking.
1 large chicken 2-3 pounds about 1 kg
chicken bones 2-3 pounds 1 kg (here’s where I made the first change. I had a stewing chicken in the freezer that I wanted to use up, so I decided to use that instead. When I went to check out the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth, I realized that I had inadvertently made chicken broth instead. Oops.)
2 onions, roughly diced
1 medium leek – white part only, roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. white peppercorns ( Any type of whole peppercorn will do) (I used black)
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried, it doesn’t matter.)
peel of 1/2 lemon (another change here – my lemons had seen better days so I added a splash of organic lemon juice)
1/4 tsp. allspice
- Wash the chicken and bones and places in a 5 Litre pot, cover completely with water and bring to a boil
- Skim away any scum as it comes to the surface
- Add the vegetables and bring back to a boil
- Add the rest remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered for 1.5 hours
- Carefully lift out the chicken, set aside. The chicken meat can be removed from the chicken, shredded off and used for other things like soup!
- Simmer the stock gently for another hour. At , at the end you should have around 2 Liters
- Carefully ladle the liquid into a fine sieve, the less the bones and vegetables are disturbed in this process the clearer the stock will be. ?The stock is now ready for use. Freeze what you don’t need for later use.
I pretty much didn’t do any of the above. I threw everything in a crockpot on my way to work and prayed for it to turn out. When I got home, it smelled heavenly. So I scooped out 4 C of the broth for the risotto and made the rest into soup.
olive oil 2 fluid oz 60 ml
1 small onion, quartered
rice 14 oz 400g (1 3/4 C)
Any type of risotto rice will do. I use Arborio but the recipe itself says Vialone Nano. Another to look for is Carnaroli.
white wine 2 fl oz 60 ml (I used Barefoot Chardonnay)
chicken or vegetable stock , simmering 2 pints 1 L (4 C)
- Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Fry for a few minutes to flavour the oil then discard. (We diced ours and left it in as we like onion).
- Add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat each grain of rice with oil and toast slightly.
- Add the wine and let it bubble away until evaporated.
- Add enough stock to cover the rice by a finger’s width (about an inch or two). Don’t actually stick your finger in, it will be hot. Just eye it off. (at this point I added some dried mushrooms that I bought at Costco)
- Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
- Repeat Step 5 making sure to leave aside approximately 100 ml. of stock for the final step. .
- Repeat, save 100ml for the final stage.
- Once you are at this point, the base is made. You now get to add your own variation.
So at this point I’m like HUH? WTF does #6-8 mean? So I got out my Joy of Cooking and discovered that risotto is “a technique as much as a dish.” Basically they were telling me to add the stock in two batches.
The verdict: I definitely could have used more onion and mushroom flavor. But I still couldn’t stop eating it. I don’t remember what risotto is like in the restaurants when I’ve had it, so I have no idea if the texture is “correct.” It was kind of creamy yet a bit of toothiness in the middle of each grain. Not sure if it’s supposed to be that way or if it was underdone. Either way I liked it!
The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.
What are your tips for making risotto?