To me, leftover poultry always means risotto, no matter if it’s chicken or turkey. Why? Because I always make stock from the carcasses and I use this stock to flavor the rice. There’s also often a bit of leftover meat hanging around—especially with a leftover turkey—so that goes into the rice as well. Add a few mushrooms and some herbs and booyah! You have the makings of some high-end comfort food.
A good risotto requires patience, and a strong stirring arm. You must stir the rice almost constantly for upwards of a half-hour, otherwise you will not get that wonderful creaminess that makes a risotto a risotto. You add the turkey stock and/or water slowly, letting each little bit evaporate before adding the next glug, stirring all the while. It’s a labor of love.
I used chanterelle mushrooms for this dish, because they go so well with turkey. You could use any fresh mushrooms, although the giant portobellos are not ideal here. I happen to like shiitake mushrooms with chicken.
Cheese is pretty much a given with risotto, and Elise came up with the idea of using chevre, a fresh goat cheese. It’s a little funky and very tangy, which adds to the overall flavors of this dish. If you wanted to go more traditional use pecorino or parmesan.
Serve this risotto with a green salad (arugula would be nice) and a crisp white wine, such as a Sancerre, an unoaked Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Chenin Blanc. If you are a beer drinker, a pilsner or lager would be perfect.
Turkey Mushroom Risotto Recipe
You must use risotto rice for this recipe or it will not work. These rices—Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano—contain special starches that slough off when you stir the rice, creating a creamy sauce without any added cream. You can use chicken stock instead of turkey stock, but note that the turkey stock is what gives this risotto its turkey flavor.
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 1/3 pound chanterelles or other fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio, Carnaroli, Vialone Nano, or other risotto rice
- 3 cups turkey stock
- 2 ounces Chevre or other fresh goat cheese
- Black pepper to taste
1 Bring the stock, plus an additional 2 cups of water, to a simmer.
2 Heat the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to brown. Add the shallots and mushrooms and toss to combine. Salt them well and sauté until the shallots are translucent, about 3 minutes.
3 Add the garlic, sage and rice and stir well. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add 1 cup of the simmering stock. Stirring constantly, let the stock evaporate before adding another 1/2 cup. Repeat, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is al dente, cooked through but still a little firm. This will take about 20-30 minutes.
4 When the rice is al dente, add the goat cheese and stir well to combine. Add the black pepper and stir again. Serve at once.