Risi e Bisi e Runner Beans
November 4, 2016
In it’s pure Venetian form, Risi e Bisi is a wet risotto of rice (obviously), smoked pancetta (usually), the best chicken stock and the freshest, sweetest garden peas. It’s a lovely dish – light but comforting. However nothing is sacred so we’ve beefed it up with chicken meat, brown basmati rice and runner beans. The old Doge of Venice would be turning in his grave, particularly with the brown basmati rice, but it works and he should have tried it.
The suggested quantities will make enough to feed an army so scale back accordingly, unless you’re planning an invasion. When I made it, I did have a lot of mouths to feed and it was equally good the next day.
1Place the chicken carcasses and stock ingredients in a saucepan, cover with water (at least two litres) and simmer for an hour.
2Add the drumsticks and simmer for another hour.
3Heat the butter and oil and saute the onion and diced bacon for 10 min. Add the garlic and saute for another couple of minutes.
4Add the rice and stir to give it a good coating.
5Meanwhile, strain the stock, allow to stand for ten minutes and remove obvious floating fat etc with kitchen paper.
6Add a litre of stock to the rice, stir as it comes to the simmer and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.
7Meanwhile, strip the drumsticks and pick any obviously worthwhile bits of meat from the carcasses. Dice the larger pieces.
8Continue adding the stock to the rice until it's nearly done. If you run out add water.
9Add the peas, beans and chicken. Gently stir, cook for a couple of minutes and add the Parmesan.