Risotto with Orange Juice
Risotto all'Arancia

serves: 6 servings

Anna Tasca Lanza first prepared this dish for me at her family's Regaleali Estate in Sicily. Anna is a gifted chef and cookbook author who is in love with the foods of her native land. The family estate also produces some of the best wines from the region. The risotto was so wonderful and refreshing that I began making it here, changing it slightly each time, as I do with most recipes that please me.

ingredients
3 oranges, with bright, unblemished skins
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup onions, minced
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
2½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
5½ cups chicken stock, or canned chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt, or as needed
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
freshly ground black pepper

directions


With a vegetable peeler remove the rind from two of the oranges, being careful not to include the white part- it is very bitter. Cut the rind crosswise into thin strips. (There should be about 1/2 cup lightly packed.) Juice the oranges and reserve the juice. (There should be about 1 cup.)

In a heavy, wide 3 to 4-quart casserole or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and shallot and cook them until golden, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Toast the rice until the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the wine and orange rind. Stir well until the wine is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the stock has been absorbed. Continue to add hot stock in small batches, just enough to completely moisten the rice, and cook until each successive batch has been absorbed. When all the stock has all been added, begin adding the orange juice in the same manner. Stir constantly and adjust the level of heat so the rice is simmering very gently while adding the stock and juice until the rice mixture is creamy but al dente. This will take 16 to 20 minutes from the time the wine was added.

Remove from the heat. Beat in the butter first until completely melted, and then the cheese. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary, and pepper. Serve immediately, ladled into warm shallow bowls.