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This Old Chef: Blog & Recipes

Perfect Risotto at Home (with Chicken and Tarragon)

Posted on August 16, 2012 with 0 comments

 

Risotto...

Oooooooooooooooooooo scary stuff.

Oooooooooooooooooooo expensive stuff.

Guess what... if you learn the (EASY) basics of making it at home, it's neither scary nor expensive.  And actually, with a few additions, it can even be a very tasty family staple.  Rice, stock, some member of the lily family (onion, garlic, leeks, shallot, etc.), a bit of wine, Parm, and butter.  I'm guessing you have most of that in your house at this very minute.  Maybe not the rice... because risotto does in fact require stubby short-grain starchy rice... but Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone Nano are all widely available.  And not just at gourmet-type places.

Sauté on low heat some EVOO or butter with chopped onion...

Add some rice... toast for 2 minutes (but don't brown)...

Up the heat a bit and add some wine and cook until almost dry, add some hot stock (about ½ C)... again, cook until almost dry.

Keep repeating this with the stock, stirring a lot, but no, it needn't be constant... until the rice tastes the way you like it (count on approximately 20 minutes and 3-4 cups of stock to 1 cup of rice)...

And here comes the dreaded phrase "al dente" ...that's just a way of saying tender but still firm enough that you feel some substance - mush is not good.  Turn off the heat, add some butter and Parm.

And you're good to go.  Over a couple of tries, you'll discover how YOU like it... wetter, drier, softer, firmer, less butter, more Parm, etc.  And there are at least a million variations...

This variation is my take on Chicken Tarragon... I added poached chicken (poached in the chicken stock I was using... it ups the chicken flavor about 100%!) and a good handful of chopped tarragon.