Rice and Peas: Risi e Bisi

Total Time:
1 hr
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
40 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces prosciutto di San Daniele, chopped into 1/8-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (Vialone Nano brand preferred)
  • 3 quarts strained warm chicken stock, recipe follows
  • 2 pounds fresh peas, shelled to yield 1 1/2 cups
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Brown Chicken Stock:
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 pounds chicken wings, backs, and bones
  • 6 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 4 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 8 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 bunches parsley stems
Directions

Place the olive oil, shallots, celery, and prosciutto in a 12 to 14-inch, deep-sided frying pan, and place over medium heat. Cook until soft but not brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes, until rice becomes almost opaque. Add the chicken stock to cover rice and turn heat up to high. As level of stock dips below level of rice, continue to add stock, 1 ladle at a time, to keep rice covered. Stir the rice constantly during this procedure.

Taste the rice after 15 minutes: it should still be hard. Add the peas and continue cooking, until the rice is soft and creamy yet still "al dente". Rice should still be quite wet, but not swimming. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese. Adjust for seasoning and serve immediately.

Brown Chicken Stock:

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Add all the chicken parts and brown all over, stirring to avoid burning. Remove the chicken and reserve. Add the carrots, onions, and celery to the pot and cook until soft and browned. Return the chicken to the pot and add 6 quarts of water, the tomato paste, peppercorns, and parsley. Stir with a wooden spoon to dislodge the browned chicken and vegetables bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a low simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours, occasionally skimming excess fat. Remove from heat, strain, and press on the solids with the bottom of a ladle to extract out all liquids. Stir the stock to facilitate cooling and set aside. Refrigerate stock in small containers for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

Yield: 3 quarts


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