Lemon and Rosemary Risotto

If you look at the recipes I've posted so far, you'd probably think I'm a lemon superfan. I'm not, really, or at least it is not something I've noticed about myself before now. Again, I am not sure what possessed me to make risotto when it was 96° out, which was even hotter than it was last time I decided to make risotto (when it was only a cool 90°). Although I did genuinely break a sweat standing over the stove, it was worth it, since this risotto turned out to be so tasty. I was worried that the lemon wouldn't be strong enough or the rosemary would be overpowering, but both those fears were unfounded. I will definitely make this recipe again.

Lemon and Rosemary Risotto

1 qt vegetable stock
2 shallots
2 small ribs celery (or one large)
1/4 cup butter (divided)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
2 small (or 1 large) chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch pieces
1 egg yolk
4 tbsp parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the vegetable stock to a boil and then reduce to a simmer so that it can be added to the rice hot. Chop the shallots and celery finely in a food processor.

Cook the diced chicken in a nonstick pan at medium high and until cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Set aside. (This could be done in one pot before starting the risotto- I cooked the chicken in a separate pan at the same time as the rice to save time.)

Heat a heavy bottomed pot (I used my dutch oven) over medium low heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the olive oil. Sauté the  celery and shallots until softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the rice and allow it to absorb the flavors for a minute or two. Then, add 1 cup of stock and stir continuously with a silicone spatula until the liquid is absorbed. Continue one cup at a time until rice is al dente, 20-30 minutes. Add salt and black pepper, tasting as you go along. Remember that the liquid will evaporate, so be careful not to over salt the liquid initially. There may be a bit of stock leftover once the rice is fully cooked.

Stir the egg yolk, parmesan cheese and lemon juice together in a small bowl.

Once the rice is al dente, remove from heat. Stir in the chicken, the lemon zest, the rosemary, and the egg yolk mixture. Finally, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Adapted from Nigella Lawson via One Perfect Bite

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