Pressure Cooker Risotto

January 27, 2010

Ever since I bought my cheap pressure cooker, I’ve been exploring ways to use it in getting dinner to the table more quickly. This is important to me, as I often don’t get home from work until 7 or so, and I don’t want to spend an hour or two putting together a nice meal. I’m trying to eat more high fiber foods, such as brown rice, so the pressure cooker allows me to cook that rice in 20 minutes, rather than an hour.

Last night, I tried making risotto in the pressure cooker.  That’s right, risotto, which traditionally takes 20 to 30 minutes of constant attention.  But not in a pressure cooker.  You cook it for 8 minutes, without stirring.  And damn it, if it didn’t come out perfect!

Now you still have to cut up your vegetables for the soffritto.  Last night I used shallots, fennel, garlic and carrot.  I browned some boneless chicken thighs in the cooker, removed them, added the soffritto, and cooked for a couple of minutes.  Add the rice, stir to coat, some wine, chicken stock, and then the chicken.  Seal the cooker and cook for 8 minutes.  Release the steam, stir in grated cheese and butter, and serve.

This risotto was absolutely perfect.  Creamy and rich.  The starches from the arborio rice released into the broth, which surprised me.  I thought that the dish would be overly watery, but it wasn’t at all.  And the chicken was nicely cooked, too.

I may never make traditional risotto again.

Pressure Cooker Rissotto

  • 1-1/2 cups aborio rice
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Heat oil in pressure cooker without lid over high heat.  Salt and pepper chicken thighs and brown in hot oil.  Remove chicken from cooker and add shallot, carrots and garlic.  Stir for 1-2 minutes.  Add rice and stir for another minute.  Add wine, stir, and then add stock.  Add browned chicken thighs (including any exuded juices), bring to a simmer, and seal pressure cooker.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 minutes.

Release pressure, remove lid, and stir in cheese and butter.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 3-4.


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