* 4 cups roasted chicken, in rough chunks
* A one-ounce packet dried porcini (25 g, about a packed half cup)
* 1 small sweet onion, finely sliced
* 3 tablespoons olive oil + 1/4 cup butter
* 1 1/2 cups short-grained rice, for example Arborio or Vialone Nano
* 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
* The water the mushrooms were soaked in, strained, and a quart of roasted chicken stock (see notes), simmering.
* 1/8 cup (each) Italian parsley and fresh basil, minced
* Salt and pepper to taste
Steep the porcini in a cup of boiling water for fifteen minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the onion finely and sauté it in three tablespoons of oil. When it’s lightly browned remove it to a plate with a slotted spoon and stir the rice into the drippings in the pot. Sauté the rice for 10-15 minutes, until it becomes somewhat translucent, stirring constantly so it won’t stick and burn.
Return the onions to the pot, then stir in a first ladle of stock, and while it’s absorbing, chop the mushrooms and strain the liquid they soaked in, which can contain sand. Add the mushrooms and their liquid to the rice, then continue adding stock a ladle at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed.
About five minutes before the rice is done, check seasoning. As soon as the rice is al dente, turn off the heat, stir in the butter, half the cheese, a little bit of ground pepper, the parsley and basil, and cover the risotto for two minutes.
Serve with the remaining grated cheese, sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs.
#1: Making your own roast chicken stock is KEY to this recipe. Yes, you can use the canned stuff, or even (god forbid) bullion, but I promise you it will not taste nearly as good. Plan to make this the night after serving roast chicken (if you’d don’t want to roast a chicken, the Costco ones taste great!) See my recipe, below.
#2: Do NOT try to make risotto with cold stock. The stock must be simmering (or at least very hot) when you add it to the rice, or it will impede the cooking process.
#3: As you can see in the pic, I like to serve this with some roasted zuchinni and yellow squash. Simple rinse, slice, and toss with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and a pinch of those fresh chopped herbs. Sprinkle with a little asiago cheese, and roast under broiler (500f) for 5 minutes or so.
Roast chicken stock
Plan on leaving at least 1/3 of the meat on the bird after the meal. The next morning, trim away all the good meat (but not TOO close) and set aside to top risotto. hack the carcass into three chunks (I do this to expose more marrow) and throw the whole mess into a pot and cover with water, add 2 Tbs salt, some pepper, some garlic, two chopped onions, and 4-5 stalks of chopped celery, and a bay leaf.
I also add some fresh chopped basil and Italian parsley. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and let ‘er cook for 6-8 hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Very carefully strain through cheesecloth (toss all the “parts”). Return liquid to a slow simmer.
Now you’re ready to make risotto!