Sunday, September 4, 2011
Shitake Duck Risotto
Risotto is one of our favorite meals. Absolutely comfort food. And, it's so incredibly versatile. We've made it with about as many meats and vegetables and cheeses as you an name. And, they've almost all been great. This one was no exception.
My friends John and Jackie gave me a bag of shitakes that they'd grown.
Aren't those gorgeous mushrooms? And, that's only part of them. Some were devoured after just being sauteed in a bit of butter. The rest are being dried in the refrigerator. We started brainstorming what to do with the mushrooms. Chicken with a mushroom wine sauce? Stroganoff? Pork and mushroom mustard cream sauce? We kept circling back to risotto. And, I knew I had a duck confit leg in the freezer. Duck and shitakes. Perfect.
Risotto was a dish I'd never tackled until a few years ago. It sounded complicated and easy to screw up. Then, I tried making my own and fell in love with the process. For me, it's a very calming dish to make. Chopped onions are sauteed in butter and olive oil. Raw arborio rice is added and allowed to turn just a little golden. Then, in goes some white wine followed by warm chicken stock - 1/4 - 1/2 c at a time. On the side, the additions are prepped. Lots of stirring goes on. Finally, the rice reaches that creamy but still with a teeny, tiny bit of bite stage and it's time to put in whatever you want: vegetables, meat and always some cheese.
What did we think? Amazing. Connie suggested that we implement a separate risotto rating system since most of it is a 4 or a 5 on our rating scale. Now, that's coming from the man who has always declared anything other than a 1-5 scale to be superfluous!
Shitake and Duck Risotto
2-3 cups chicken broth (homemade stock is best)
1 c duck stock (substitute chicken stock if desired)
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 c Arborio rice
3/4 c dry white wine
1 duck confit leg and thigh, reserve the skin and fat
8 oz shitake mushrooms
1 T olive oil
2 T duck fat
1/2 c finely grated romano cheese
Prepare basic risotto. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan. Pour in a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute the onion in the butter/olive oil mixture. When it's softened, add the garlic. Cook for about a minute then add the arborio rice. Stir to make sure it's thoroughly coated by the butter. Allow the rice to brown just slightly, then pour in the white wine. It'll be absorbed quickly. Add the warm chicken broth very slowly, stirring after every 1/4 - 1/2 cup. It's the stirring that causes the risotto to be nice and creamy so grab a glass of wine and stand by the stove and stir, stir, stir.
While the risotto is cooking get the rest of your ingredients together. Shred duck confit. Crisp the duck skin in a small skillet.
Set it aside.
Pour the olive oil into a large skillet. Remove the stems and coarsely chop the mushrooms. Saute them in the olive oil. Once they've started to brown, add a tablespoon of the duck fat. Continue to saute them until they're dark brown and have started to crisp just a bit.
Remove the mushrooms from the heat.
Now, it's time to put your risotto together. Finish the risotto with a tablespoon of duck fat instead of butter. Add in the shredded duck confit,
Serve topped with a bit more shredded romano and the crispy duck skin.