I want to preface this post by saying that I have never eaten risotto that was not made in my own kitchen. I’ve read, and watched and researched about it, but I have never eaten it anywhere. Yes, this is an indication of the quality of dining available to me. But darn it, I have the Food Network and the internet, and I’ve followed the process as best as I understand it. So, if you are a risotto connoisseur, this recipe is probably not for you. If you’re not, and you’re looking for a way to change up your boring rice side dish, give it a try. You need two pots for this – one for the rice and one for your stock. Heat your stock up in one pan and keep it hot, but not boiling. In the other pan, toast up your rice with a little butter and some chile powder.
When your rice is toasty and your stock is hot, add a ladle-full of stock to your rice and stir. Be careful, this one will bubble and steam quite a bit. You could use a half cup of white wine instead of broth in this step, but my kids don’t like that as much.
Stir the rice frequently. When almost all the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated, add another ladle of broth. After a half hour, and 3 ladles (or 1 1/2 cups of broth), my rice looked like this.
If it doesn’t look much different to you and you are getting discouraged, I’m with you. This dish is not quick and it is not one you can just set on the stove and walk away from. I really think the end product is worth the trouble, but I don’t do it often. After another half hour (yup, that’s an hour total) and another 3 ladles of broth (totaling 3 cups), it is thick, creamy and delicious.
Those little black specks are evidence of home made stock. I used the bones from some leftover grilled chicken to build my stock. And, since I was serving this with grilled chicken, it really tied all the flavors together. If you’ve used a well seasoned broth, you shouldn’t need to do much to this in terms of seasoning. Taste it. If it’s flat, add some salt and pepper. If you know your stock is only marginal, toss in some finely diced onion with the rice and butter at the beginning of this process. You can add virtually anything to this before serving – some grated parmesan, more butter, sautéed mushrooms, fresh or frozen peas, even protein. Or, you could just leave it alone and enjoy it alongside your favorite main dish.
1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup brown rice
1 teaspoon chile powder
3 cups chicken stock (the more flavorful the better)
Melt butter in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Add rice and chile powder and toast. While rice is toasting, heat chicken stock until it almost boils. Reduce heat to low and keep stock hot.
When the rice is toasted, reduce heat to low. Add one ladle of stock (about 1/2 cup) and cook over low heat, stirring almost constantly until almost all the liquid is absorbed/evaporated. Add another ladle of stock. Repeat this process until rice is the desired consistency (I added 3 cups of stock a half cup at a time – 6 repetitions). Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking if necessary.