1½ cups Arborio rice
1 pound reconstituted mixed wild mushrooms (porcini, morels, chanterelles, oyster, woodear, shiitake, lobster, hen-of-the-woods, black trumpet, etc.) chopped into ¼" pieces (reserve 1 cup of the liquid used to reconstitute mushrooms)
8 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, cleaned and cut in ¼" slices
¾ cup shallots cut in ¼" dice
1 cup dry Italian vermouth, such as Antica Formula Carpano
5 cups organic free-range chicken stock, divided
8 tablespoons high-quality extra virgin olive oil (my favorite is Partanna)
6 tablespoons high-quality unsalted butter, preferably European style
½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons fresh picked thyme leaves
1 teaspoon porcini powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
12 fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup spring peas (optional)
- Preheat an oven to 300ºF.
- Pat dry the reconstituted wild mushrooms with a paper towel, toss them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of white pepper, and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, and roast them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter and tablespoons of olive oil under the butter is melted.
- Pan roast the sliced cremini mushrooms undisturbed until their moisture is released and well caramelized, about 6-7 minutes. Turn them over to brown the other sides, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and reserve them on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to the pan, and when the butter is melted, add the shallots and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining butter and olive oil, and when the butter is melted, add the arborio rice. Toast the rice until fragrant, stirring continuously, being very careful not to brown the rice. The rice should become fragrant within 2 minutes.
- When you perceive the nuttiness of the rice, or if you start to see the rice begin to take color, immediately turn the heat to medium-high and deglaze with the vermouth. Be sure to scrape any fondant left over from the mushrooms from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula.
- As the vermouth cooks down into a syrupy consistency, add the reserved mushroom liquid, one cup at a time. If you only have one cup, that will suffice. If you have more, use it after the first cup evaporates.
- Stir calmly but consistently with a wooden spoon/spatula as the liquid is absorbed and the rice continues to cook. You will repeat this process 4-5 more times with the chicken stock, each time adding liquid and stirring gently and consistently until almost all the liquid is absorbed, then repeat.
- As the rice absorbs the wine/broth/stock, it will continue to give up starch and also increase in size. The goal is al dente rice, something that has a bit of bite and is pleasing to the teeth. If the rice becomes “puffed” or mushy, the cooking has gone too long. The entire stirring process most likely will not exceed 15-20 minutes, but it depends on the level of heat employed and rate of liquid absorption. Having said that, frequently try individual grains of rice to feel out their texture. Remember that the rice will continue to cook for several minutes after removed from the heat, so less is more. DO NOT OVERCOOK YOUR RICE.
- On the last round of adding stock, when the liquid is almost absorbed, add the mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano, remaining thyme leaves, porcini powder, and some freshly cracked pepper. Incorporate well until you have reached the desired consistency, making sure there is no liquid remaining.
- Due to the amount of chicken stock and Parmigiano used, tread lightly with salt. Taste and adjust accordingly. Stir in peas if desired.