Ingredients (for 5-6 persons):
- chicken for broth, various pieces (neck, wings, back)
- carrots (3-4)
- potatoes (3- 4)
- olive oil – about 1/4 c.
- arborio rice, 1/2 c per person
- about 1 lb of button mushrooms or other • porcini mushrooms (1 lg pkg, if possible)
- Parmesan cheese (to taste)
Almost every good risotto needs a good chicken broth – and “la gallina vecchia fa buon brodo” (“the old hen makes a good broth”).
Here’s how we make a broth in Umbria:
In about 2-3 qts. of water, cook chicken wings, neck, back (head, feet, too! – the farm people would not let anything go to waste!) with a carrot, piece of celery, whole onion, lots of fresh parsley, salt, pepper to taste. For this broth, fine to use about 1/2 chicken – cut into 2 pieces (do not use small pieces, it at all possible). If possible, also add a chunk of beef – stew beef fine – (about 1 lb) . For this recipe, we will also add about 1 potato for every 5 persons – and will use 1 each of carrot and onion for every 4 persons. They will be served after with the meat as a second course.
For risotto: Finely-slice white onion and saute? til golden in hot olive oil in large saucepan. Add mushrooms (dried porcini need to be soaked a bit in tepid water, then drained). But- ton mushrooms can be sliced – but porcinis should be added whole. Add arborio rice (about 1/2- c per person) and add boiling broth, stirring constantly til risotto is al dente.
DO NOT OVERCOOK.
Set aside meats, potatoes, carrots, onions. Serve hot porcini risotto with Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly-grated.