Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Turkey Risotto

Risotto is a labor of love.  There are recipes out there that say you don’t continually stir the risotto, but those recipes are lying.  But, as important as the stirring is to making it creamy, it seems that the real key to risotto is in the broth you use.  This recipe is great way to revisit Thanksgiving leftovers and works really well if you can use turkey broth made with the leftover carcass.  The broth I used for this batch came from the pan drippings of the roasted turkey. 

The turkey itself has a special story.  My brother, Kevin, works on Leaping Waters Farm and was given the turkey by the owner/farmer, Alec Bradford.   Leaping Waters Farm is in Alleghany Springs, VA, and is a 600-acre farm that is committed to raising high quality cattle, hogs, and turkeys.  So, this turkey was literally fresh off the farm.  That gives it a slightly gamier quality, which gives the risotto an extra nuance.   

4 cups broth
2 tablespoons lemon
1 bay leaf
1 tsp diced fresh rosemary
2 tbls olive oil
2 tbls butter
½ red onion, diced
½ cup of diced carrots
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 ½ cup Arborio rice
2/3 cup wine
1 cup diced turkey meat
½ cup parmesan cheese

1.   Put the broth, lemon juice, bay leaf, and rosemary in a saucepan and warm it on a back burner. 
2.   In a large shallow pan over medium heat, add oil and butter to pan.  When butter has melted and the oil is hot, add the onions and carrots and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Sweat the onions and carrots for 5 minutes.   
3.   Add the Arborio to the same pan as the carrots and stir until the grain is translucent, except for a white dot in the center (about 5 minutes).  Add the wine and stir until completely absorbed.
4.   Add a ladleful of stock, stirring continually.  Wait until the stock is completely absorbed before adding another ladleful.  Continue to keep adding broth a ladleful at a time, only adding more once the broth is absorbed.  It should take about 20 minutes to get the risotto tender. 
5.   When the risotto is soft and you have added all but the last ½ cup of broth, add the turkey.  Then add the last ½ cup of stock and ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.   
6.   Cover with a lid and let finish over a low heat for about 5 minutes. 

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