The recipe calls for risotto rice, Italian rice varieties that are high in a particular type of starch, with grains that are shorter and fatter than most other rices: Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are the most famous varieties. The high starch content of these rices yields a creamy texture when cooked.
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cups flavorful mushrooms such as shiitake, chanterelle, or oyster mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into half inch to inch pieces
- 2/3 cup brandy, vermouth, or dry white wine
- 5-6 cups chicken stock* (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
- 1/3 cup of peeled and minced shallots (OR 1/3 cup of yellow or white onion, finely chopped)
- 1 3/4 cups arborio rice or other risotto rice
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives
*If cooking gluten-free, use homemade stock or gluten-free packaged stock.
1 Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
2 Melt the butter in a deep, heavy, medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and sauté about 5 minutes (if using chanterelles, dry sauté first for a minute or two and let the mushrooms cook in their own juices before adding the butter). Add the rice and stir to combine.
3 Add brandy, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes. Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Stir the rice almost constantly — stirring sloughs off the starch from the rice, making the creamy sauce you're looking for in a risotto. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 25 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.
4 Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.