In an effort to make use of all the pancetta I have, read about making pancetta here, I decided to think up some creative ways to try incorporate it. The first thing I thought of was risotto. I had never made risotto before so it seemed like a good time to try!
I started with a recipe I found on Food Network’s website. I modified it a bit to work with the ingredients I had on hand. I also read an article about the common “don’t’s” for making risotto.
To start off with I warmed some chicken stock over low heat with some chopped up rosemary in it. Which one of the “don’t’s” from the article I read, don’t use cold stock!
Then I heated olive oil in my dutch oven over medium high heat. I added diced pancetta and let that cook stirring occasionally until it was crisp.
I removed the pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside. I then added sliced oyster mushrooms. I stirred and let the mushrooms cook until they started to brown. Then I removed them with a slotted spoon and set aside with the pancetta. I added more olive oil to the dutch oven and added diced onion. I let that cook until it was softened (about 4 minutes). Then I added short grain rice, stirred and let the rice “toast” for a couple of minutes. Then I added white wine, stirred scraping the pan, until the wine was absorbed.
I then added 2 cups of the warmed stock, brought it to a simmer and cooked stirring pretty much continually until the liquid was mostly absorbed, which was about 8 minutes.
Then I added 1 cup of the stock, brought to simmer again and cooked stirring until it was mostly absorbed.
I tested the rice for doneness – it was cooked, so I removed the pan from heat and stirred in the pancetta, mushrooms, butter, chicken and chives. I seasoned with salt and pepper and served garnished with additional chives.
The Verdict: What a tasty meal! Making risotto was pretty hands on but it wasn’t difficult by any means. It was definitely comfort food and I will be making it again. I can see this dish becoming a favorite, especially in the dead of winter!
- 4 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves roughly chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- 4 oz pancetta, diced
- 1 cup oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
- ¼ cooking onion, diced
- 1 cup short grain rice, such as Arborio
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 1/3 cup cooked shredded chicken
- 2 tsp butter
- 2 tsp chives, chopped, plus more for serving
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Add chicken stock and rosemary to a sauce pan over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer turn heat to low.
- Heat 1 tsp of the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add pancetta and cook stirring occasionally until the pancetta is crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Lower heat of dutch oven to medium. Add mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally until mushrooms are slightly brown, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and set aside with the pancetta.
- Heat remaining tsp of olive oil in the dutch oven. Add onion and cook stirring occasionally until softened, about 4 minutes. Add rice, stir and let toast for 2-3 minutes. Add wine and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan and let cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of the warmed stock to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Add an additional cup of stock, bring to a simmer and cook stirring until absorbed.
- Taste the rice. If it is not cooked completely add another cup of stock and repeat. If it is cooked remove from heat. Stir in pancetta, mushrooms, chicken, butter and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on warmed plate topped with additional chives.