You could stand at the stove stirring risotto for 25 to 30 minutes, or you could combine the ingredients in a Dutch oven, throw it in the oven for 35 minutes, and spend the time doing something much more fun. I know which I would choose! Asparagus, saffron, wine and Parmesan make this risotto particularly satisfying.
- Good olive oil
- 1¼ cups thinly sliced shallots (2 large)
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends removed, cut diagonally in 1-inch lengths (see note)
- 1½ cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
- 5 to 6 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade (see recipe below)
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium (11-inch) Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for two minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. In the same Dutch oven, heat 1 additional tablespoon olive oil. Add the rice and stir to coat the rice with oil. Add 4 cups of the chicken stock and the saffron, bring to a simmer and cover. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
4. Remove from the oven and add the white wine, stirring well until incorporated, then add 1 more cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, butter, 2½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for two to three minutes, until the risotto is thick and creamy, adding more chicken stock, if necessary, to keep the risotto very creamy. Stir in the asparagus-and-shallot mixture and serve hot, sprinkled with extra grated Parmesan.
- To reheat, add a little white wine and reheat in individual bowls in the microwave. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve hot.
- Instead of asparagus, you can use broccolini, broccoli, snow peas or snap peas, or you can add frozen peas just before serving.
Homemade Chicken Stock
Makes 6 quarts
I think of homemade chicken stock as liquid gold. Nothing available on the market has the depth of flavor or richness of stock you’ve made yourself. It contributes such great body and aroma to so many dishes. Plus, having a big pot of chicken stock simmering away on my stove just makes me feel good.
- 3 (5-pound) roasting chickens
- 3 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
- 6 carrots, unpeeled and halved
- 4 celery stalks with leaves, cut into thirds
- 4 parsnips, unpeeled and halved
- 20 sprigs fresh parsley
- 15 sprigs fresh thyme
- 20 sprigs fresh dill
- 1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1. Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt and peppercorns in a 16- to 20-quart stockpot. Add 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
2. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for four hours. Allow the stock to cool for 30 minutes. Strain the contents of the pot through a colander into a large bowl and discard the solids. Pack the stock in containers, and refrigerate for up to a few days or freeze for up to six months.
Cook With Ina
Two more recipes to try from Go-To Dinners:
Pineapple juice, brown sugar, orange marmalade and mustard make the most delicious glaze.
Not only are these cookies delicious, but the house smells wonderful when you make them!
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