Make and serve with Morovino 2009 Gold Medal Winning Barbera
1 each 1/2 ounce package dried Porcini mushrooms
1 C. Arborio rice
3 C. chicken broth (or a bit more)
1 C. ’09 Barbera
1 t. butter
2 ribs of celery, finely diced
½ white onion, diced
1 package sliced baby Portabella mushrooms (or white button mushrooms)
¼ t. dried thyme
½ C. shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 T olive oil (divided use)
2 t. White Truffle oil
½ rotisserie chicken, meat removed from bones, cubed
Mrs. Vino doesn’t understand why people think Risotto is hard to cook. This is her favorite “ready in a half hour” comfort food. While this recipe very nearly violates Mrs. Vino’s two pot rule (never cook anything that requires more than 2 pots going at once), it is absolutely earthy and delicious. In pan #1, over medium heat, brown fresh mushrooms, celery and garlic in 1T olive oil. This will take 3 or 4 minutes—stir often! Remove pan from the heat when done. In pan #2, lightly saute chopped onion in 1T olive oil and 1 t. butter over medium heat (about 3 minutes). We aren’t trying to carmelize—just soften. And now for the cheating step that keeps us from needing a 3rd pan. In a 4 C. glass measuring cup, microwave 3C. chicken broth and the dried porcini mushrooms for 2 minutes. We want them warm, but not boiling.
Back to pan 2. Add the Arborio rice to the onion and oil, stir to coat, and continue stirring over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until rice is well coated and turns slightly opaque. Add 1 C. of Barbera—yep, this turns the entire risotto pink—don’t worry, it will turn brown as it cooks. If you just can’t handle pink risotto, use ½ C Barbera and ½ C white wine. Continue to saute until thee wine absorbs into the rice. Using your kitchen ladle (which is conveniently about ½ C in volume), add the warm broth and dried mushroom mixture, slowly, ½ cup at a time to the rice mixture. Let each ladle full of broth absorb completely before adding the next ladle full. When you get to your last ladle full, add the broth, and add the sauteed mushrooms, thyme and the Rotisserie chicken bits, too. When we have a chicken, we usually end up with a breast, leg and thigh left over—so that is what I use. I usually keep some of the skin on when I chop the chicken—It gives a nice saltiness to the risotto. When the last ladle of broth is absorbed, add the White Truffle Oil and the shredded Parmesan and stir. You can add a little more water or broth if it looks too gummy. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan. Serve in a bowl with a big green salad on the side.