Every so often I realize that there is a dish that I have somehow escaped making during my 28 years upon this earth. A dish that I SHOULD know how to make but just don't. As I huddled in bed this morning trying to imagine what sort of culinary delights would ease my sore throat and stuffy head I knew that today was the day I would learn to make chicken noodle soup from scratch. World, here is my confession, I Eviedee lover of all things braised, baked, and broiled have never made my own stock. Something about picking apart the carcass of a dead bird always struck me as something better suited for a 10th grade Biology class than my kitchen. Today I took the plunge. Even though my husbands unfortunate first words to me were "Isn't it weird, that thing used to be an ugly little chicken?!", I just kept on pickin! Though I was disappointed with the flavor of today's chicken soup, I did learn some things that will hopefully help me with the soup of the future. Fortunately, I had more success with the Risotto. I am not sure what the humble risotto can do for my sickness or my soul but I love what it does for my taste buds.
(adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine May-02)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 Tblsp unsalted butter
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6-8 cups hot chicken broth
large pinch saffron threads
1 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan cook the onion in 2 Tblsp butter until soft. Stir in rice, and cook until very lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine. Add two cups of broth and the saffron to the pan. Turn the heat to high until the broth comes to a simmer and then adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring every minute or two. Add another cup of hot broth and keep cooking, stirring, and adding broth until rice is al dente.* When the rice is ready, stir in the cheese. Add a little more broth to give the risotto the consistency that you desire. Off the heat, stir in the butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
*This process should take about 20 minutes unless SOMEONE (me) accidentally turns off the heat at some point in which case this whole process will be mysteriously slow until the heat is turned on again.