Here is my Risotto recipe, using chicken stock made from the carcass of the chicken I roasted last week:
1 small onion or shallot, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 cup short-grain rice, like Arborio
1/3 cup dry white wine (I usually use Riesling or Pinot grigio, since those are my favorites)
about 1 quart stock
3 tablespoons butter (optional but delicious)
1/2 cup grated parmesan for topping.
Additions of your choice - could be 1/2 lb browned sausage or cut-up chicken, 1/3 lb sauteed greens, 2 cups peas, 2 cups cooked, pureed winter squash ... the options are endless.
Put the stock in a saucepan on a back burner on the stove, and heat over medium-low; you just need it to be hot, but not boiling or even simmering. Heat the wine, also so hot but not boiling – I generally put it in a Pyrex measuring cup and use the microwave, but you could have a separate tiny saucepan and heat on the stove. This is also the appropriate time to pour yourself a glass of that wine, if you are so inclined.
Mince the onion. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent. Then add the cup of rice, and start stirring. Keep stirring frequently until the rice becomes translucent; this takes 5-10 minutes. Once the rice all looks pearly, turn the heat down a bit and add the heated wine – it needs to be warm so you don’t “shock” the rice, which inhibits its absorption of liquid. (I wrote this recipe, and then later on, made a rice pilaf with a similar technique, and I didn't have the liquid warm enough, and it turned out pretty crunchy, so do as I say, not as I do!) Stir some more while the wine steams, for about 2 minutes. Then start adding stock – I usually use a ladle to transfer it, but a cup measure works fine, too. Add enough stock to cover the rice ¼ inch deep. Put a lid over the skillet, and leave it alone for about 10 minutes.
Come back and check on your dish – it should be simmering; if not, turn up the heat. If boiling vigorously, turn it down a hair. Give the rice a stir, and add a bit more stock. At this point, you want to keep the liquid about ¼ inch above the rice. Put the lid back on, and leave it alone for another 10-15 minutes. Check again, stir again, and add more stock. I usually use brown short grain rice, so it takes at least 45 minutes to cook, but I know white rice would go more quickly. If the rice is looking very soft and plump at your third check, give it a taste. If it is still crunchy, add more stock and leave it alone for another 10-15 minutes. Once the rice gets to a pleasing texture (traditionally, still slightly al dente), don’t add any more stock – put the lid back on and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
Once the majority of the stock has been absorbed, remove the lid, stir thoroughly, and then add whatever you’d like – my most recent version had sausage and winter squash. I had them both room temperature to warm, and stirred them in thoroughly, let it cook for a minute, and then added the butter, turned off the heat, and mixed thoroughly one more time. Some folks like to stir in the Parmesan too, but I prefer to pass it at the table, as I have a child that adores shredded cheese.