Turkey and Mushroom Risotto

How was your Thanksgiving? Are you still swimming in leftovers?

Truth be told, I was nearly as excited about making this recipe from last month’s Bon Appetit than the Thanksgiving meal itself. I learned how to make a proper risotto as part of a Sur La Table cooking class a couple months ago, but hadn’t had a chance to play around with it in my own kitchen.

Think of risotto as a blank canvas of rice, stock and  little cheese, amplified by plus whatever suits your fancy, from vegetables and herbs to wine.

The trick to a good risotto is patience (and of course, arm endurance!). Resist the urge to stir in too much liquid too soon. My chef-instructor explained it to me like this: you’re Moses, parting the Red Sea. Pull your spoon across the bottom of the pan, parting the rice. If liquid rushes in to fill the space, keep stirring. When there’s no liquid left to flow back in, you’re ready for another ladle of stock.

The turkey stock is a great complement to the mushrooms. For a true vegetarian option, switch to mushroom or vegetable stock or broth and leave out the turkey.

Turkey and Mushroom Risotto

From Bon Appetit

Makes 4-6 servings

8 cups turkey stock
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups assorted fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup shredded leftover turkey meat (optional)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Bring stock to a simmer in a medium pot over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat until it begins to foam. Add onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent and just beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, and any liquid released has evaporated, 5-7 minutes.

Add rice; stir to coat. Add 1/2 cup warm stock and stir constantly until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock by 1/2-cupfuls, stirring constantly, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. Add leftover turkey meat, if using; stir to combine and to warm through, adding a little stock or water if necessary to keep mixture creamy, about 3 minutes.

Stir Parmesan and remaining 1 tablespoon butter into risotto. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among warm bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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