Usually when you cook rice on the stovetop, the common recipe is to bring 2 parts water to boil in a saucepan, with your oil/butter and seasonings, then add 1 part rice, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until water is absorbed. However when you prepare rice for a risotto dish, it requires quite a different approach.
Chef Husband began heating up a sautée pan, added a couple pats of butter and melted it, then added Arborio short grain rice. After cooking the Arborio lightly in the butter for about five minutes, he began the process of hydration.
He added two ladles full of seasoned chicken stock and then let the rice simmer until all of the stock was absorbed and the rice had a matte finish again, no timer, just visual. Then I assumed the guard post and tended the addition of more chicken stock a few times, add stock, simmer til absorbed, add stock, simmer til absorbed, add stock, simmer til absorbed. This went on for easily half an hour, ladel after ladel, every few minutes, until the rice was a nice creamy texture.
Chef Husband also notes that when he was in Italy, he couldn’t find any restaurant that would make risotto or an individual guest, only for two or more. Risotto is more labor intensive and time consuming.
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