Who doesn’t love tucking into a creamy, piping hot bowl of risotto? I love to make this on the weekends for family and friends, when the pace of our home is a bit more leisurely. This rustic yet refined version is the ultimate comfort food on a chilly autumn evening. Choose a good, dry white wine that you love to drink for this dish. And buy an extra bottle for serving! You and your guests can sip and chat while you stir.
Wild Mushroom and Pulled Chicken Risotto
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
10 ounces fresh cremini (baby portobello) mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fully cooked pulled chicken, brought to room temperature
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for passing
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
Place dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour 4 cups boiling water over them. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon, let cool, then chop.
Line a sieve with paper toweling and place over bowl. Pour remaining mushroom broth through the lined sieve to remove grit. Combine strained mushroom broth and chicken broth in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and keep at a low simmer.
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat and add porcini and cremini mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have softened, reduced, and started to brown. Add 2 tablespoons of broth and stir to loosen most of brown bits from pot. Remove mushrooms with a spoon and set aside.
Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in the pot and add onions. Sauté over medium-low until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Pour in wine, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir until wine has absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup broth to pot, stirring until rice absorbs broth but is not dry. Repeat this process, 1/2 cup at a time, keeping mixture at a gentle, bubbling simmer (adjust heat accordingly). Continue process until rice is creamy and completely cooked through, but still a bit al dente, about 25-30 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in 1 cup Parmesan, mushrooms, and cooked chicken. If rice has stiffened, add a splash of remaining broth or hot water then stir to loosen. Test for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Place in bowls, garnish with chives, and serve with extra grated Parmesan.
I created and photographed this recipe for the October 2016 issue of Sheridan Road Magazine.