duck & wild mushroom risotto

Easy Rice-Cooker Duck & Wild Mushroom Risotto

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 1-2 servings as a main course (depending on how hungry you are); 3-4 servings as a side dish

This no-fuss recipe takes the hard work out of risotto… no more ladling boiling broth a fraction of a cup at a time with constant stirring and attention! The only “special equipment” this recipe uses is a plain old rice cooker. The flavorful combination of duck, shallots and wild mushrooms makes a rustic and hearty dish that is simple and quick enough to prepare on a hectic weeknight, but elegant enough to impress dinner guests on a special occasion.

Ingredients

    For the rice:

  • 1/2 cup arborio or other risotto-style rice (regular white or brown rice won’t work)

  • 1 T butter (duck fat is an even tastier substitution)

  • 1 14.5 oz can chicken broth (or 1 3/4 cups homemade duck or chicken stock for an even richer flavor)
    For the meat and vegetable mix-in:

  • 1 T butter (duck fat is an even tastier substitution)

  • 1 cup shredded cooked duck meat (leftover chicken or turkey will work too)

  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped (1/4 of a sweet onion works too)

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 cup of sliced fresh or wild mushrooms (shiitake, chanterelle, and porcini are all great choices; the latter two in particular can be expensive and sometimes hard to find, so substituting some or all with regular button mushrooms works too; reconstituted dried wild mushrooms are another option)

  • 1/4 cup vermouth (or any flavorful dry wine will work too)
    For the finishing touches:

  • grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1-2 T heavy cream or sour cream (optional)

  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

    For the rice:

  1. Add 1 T butter and the rice to the rice cooker, turn it on, and stir periodically until the rice starts to sizzle (usually about 5 minutes or so).

  2. In the meantime, bring the chicken broth to a gentle boil in a small saucepan.

  3. When the rice is sizzling and the broth is boiling, immediately pour the broth into the rice cooker and replace the lid. If the rice cooker turns off during this time, turn it back on.

  4. Let the rice and broth cook undisturbed for 20 minutes.
    For the meat and vegetable mix-in:

  1. While the rice is cooking, melt the remaining 1 T of butter in a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and mushrooms, and cook until the vegetables are soft (~10 minutes).

  2. Add the duck meat and cook until it is heated through, and the meat is slightly crispy along the edges and the vegetables are slightly brown.

  3. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant (1-2 minutes).

  4. Add the vermouth, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula. Continuing cooking until the liquid is reduced and the meat and vegetables remain in a rich, slightly thickened sauce. If the meat and vegetables finish a bit before the risotto, just turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
    Finishing up:

  1. After 20 minutes, the liquid should be largely absorbed by the rice. Turn off the rice cooker, add the meat and vegetables, mix well, and re-cover. Let sit undisturbed for another 5 minutes.

  2. Remove the lid, mix in the Parmesan cheese and any cream or sour cream, if you’re using it.

  3. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
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