I’ve been busy the last several weeks with work. It’s been keeping me out of the kitchen. Tonight, however, things slowed down enough where I felt like getting back into the kitchen and doing a bit of cooking. When I get super busy, my body instantly craves carbs. Maybe it’s the idea that carbs equal comfort. And of all the carbs, rice is my go-to comfort food. Yes, even more than french fries.
I decided that I’d make a risotto. With mushrooms. And not just any mushrooms. Porcini mushrooms. Sadly, when I went to Whole Paycheck today, there were no fresh porcinis. There were some dried porcinis so I got those instead. I also swung by the meat section and grabbed some boneless chicken thighs. I was going to simply put some of my favorite chicken rub on the thighs, let them marinate while I made the risotto and then I’d throw them on my Weber charcoal grill with some asparagus. I needed to get some rice for the risotto. I swung by the rice aisle and contemplated between Carnaroli, Arborio or Vialone Nano. These are the three main types of rice used for risottos. I grabbed a box of Vialone Nano and headed to the register.
Risotto takes around an hour to prepare, but it’s worth the constant stirring. If you’ve got someone else in the house to help you, get them to grill up some chicken thighs while you prepare the risotto.
This was my second time making risotto and I think it turned out rather well. The rice wasn’t overly gloomy nor was it dry. I rehydrated the porcinis in the chicken stock while it warmed in a pot so as to infuse the stock with the porcini flavor. Next time, I’ll be straining the stock through a coffee filter so that any grains from the dried mushrooms don’t make it into the risotto.
I used a combination of Mario Batali and Jamie Oliver recipes when I made my risotto dish, so credit goes to them for helping me make this recipe.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into ¼ inch dice
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 cups Vialone Nano or Arborio rice
- 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
- ½ cups dry white wine
- 3½ cups chicken stock, hot
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ cup parmigiano-reggiano
- salt and pepper
- dried thyme and dried oregano if desired
- Finely dice the onion and celery and set aside.
- Put the chicken stock into a small sauce pan and heat over medium low heat. Add the porcini mushrooms to the stock to rehydrate and infuse with mushroom flavor.
- In a 12 to 14-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft and translucent, but be watching so that it does not start to brown. This will take about 8-10 minutes. Add the rice to the pan and stir until the rice is lightly toasted and opaque, approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Add the ½ cup of wine to the rice, and then add a ladleful of stock and mushrooms. (I recommend you pass the stock through a coffee filter to catch any granules from the dried mushrooms to prevent any grit from making it into the risotto). Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock one ladleful at a time, making sure that the liquid is absorbed by the rice before adding more.
- Cook until the rice is tender and creamy, and just a little al dente, approximately 15 minutes. Finish the risotto by stirring in the butter and cheese until incorporated.
- Serve the risotto with grilled chicken thighs and asparagus if desired.