One of the very first dishes I ever cooked for my family was risotto.
A bold choice for such an amateur cook, I know.
Risotto isn’t typically something that home cooks know how to make, and it’s very time-consuming and difficult. But, about 10 years ago, I was challenged with the task of making my very first meal for my parents…and risotto is what I chose. It had chicken, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, mushroom, and parmesan in at all creamed together in this amazing bowl of yum.
Now, I’m the risotto master. I usually follow the same recipe I made so many years ago, but every now and then I’ll change it up.
Case in point: this risotto I made the other night. Since I’m in between grocery shopping weeks, I’ve been using this time to try and cook up anything left in my pantry and fridge. I had just enough arborio rice to make a risotto, so I set out on a quest to put as many wonderful ingredients in it as possible (all while seriously cleaning out my fridge!).
I had a package of dried porcini’s, and decided that would make a good base of the risotto. Since porcini mushrooms are extremely flavorful, I wanted the rice to soak up all of that taste. I decided early on that anything else that I put in the risotto would go in after it had finished cooking.
I added in a package of chicken apple sausages, 1 cup of peas, onion and garlic—-and a miraculous dinner was born. I think this risotto has usurped the throne of my hallmark risotto that I’ve been making for years…
Porcini & Pea Risotto with Chicken Sausage
A creamy risotto recipe that combines the sweetness of peas and the earthiness of porcini mushrooms.
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 TBS. olive oil, divided
- 1 pkg chicken and apple sausage (about 4 links), sliced
- 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
- 1 pkg dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted
- 1/2 medium white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- In a small saucepan, combine chicken broth with white wine. Heat over medium heat until boiling, then turn heat down to low to keep warm.
- In a medium skillet, heat 2 TBS. of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until crisp-tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add sliced sausage and cook until warmed, another 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat remaining 1 TBS. of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add reconstituted porcini mushroom and saute for 1 minute. Add rice and stir until well combined. Add 1/2 cup of the warmed chicken broth mixture, stirring until rice soaks up liquid. Continue adding chicken broth, 1/2 a cup at a time, making sure to wait until no or very little liquid remains before adding next 1/2 cup. Continue until there is no more chicken broth left and the rice is tender and creamy.
- Add sausage mixture and thawed peas to the risotto. Stir to combine and heat through. Serve immediately.
First, reconstitute the mushrooms: Place mushrooms in a bowl and pour lukewarm water on top of them. Let them sit in the water for 30 minutes. Drain and clean mushrooms (carefully).
Next, heat the chicken broth and wine in a small saucepan over medium heat. The trick to a great risotto is warming your liquid up and using that hot liquid when adding it to the rice!
Now, cook your onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until nearly translucent. Add sliced sausage and saute for a few minutes. Set pan aside while you make the risotto.
Heat your remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high eat. Add porcini mushrooms and toast them just for a bit, no longer than 1 minute. Add arborio rice and stir, cooking for another minute.
Now comes the fun part! Using your hot chicken broth mixture, scoop out 1/2 cup. Pour that 1/2 cup of chicken broth into the arborio pan. Stirring constantly, cook until no liquid remains. Add another 1/2 cup of chicken broth and repeat—making sure no liquid remains before you add another 1/2 cup!
This is what your end result should look like—a creamy, creamy risotto. Notice that it isn’t soggy or inundated with liquid; most of the liquid is in the rice!
Finally, add 1 cup of thawed peas and your sausage mixture to the pot and give it a good stir. Make sure everything is well combined and then stir!
I topped each serving with a little sprinkle of parsley, but a couple of pinches of parmesan would’ve really made the dish perfect…unfortunately, none was to be had in this household 😦