Recipe: Turkey Risotto with Sage

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I can think of no better way to use a fresh, homemade turkey broth than in this risotto. And as it is the only turkey in this turkey risotto, the stock or broth needs to shine. (Click here for my turkey broth recipe.)

I use wild turkeys, but they are not overly different from a good domestic turkey, so you can use either. The better the turkey, the better the broth. Once you have your stock, the risotto comes together easily.

I used purple sage because I have it growing in my yard, but you can use regular sage —just make sure it's fresh, not dried. It is important to brown the butter before adding the shallot because it imparts a nutty flavor you want with this dish.

Serves 2, but can be doubled

    • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli risotto rice
    • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
    • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
    • 5 cups good turkey broth
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
    • ½ cup grated pecorino cheese
    • salt

Make sure your turkey broth is hot in a nearby pot.

Heat the butter in a saucier or medium pot over medium-high heat. Let it brown, and the moment it does, add the shallot and sauté for two to three minutes, stirring often.

Add the rice and stir-fry it for one to two minutes, coating the grains with the butter.

Start with two ladles full of the hot stock, about one cup. Stir vigorously, then gently, almost constantly as the broth evaporates and becomes incorporated into the rice.

When the liquid is almost gone—you do not want the bottom of the pot to sizzle—add another ladle full of stock and repeat the stirring. If you don't stir constantly you will not get the creamy starch to come off the rice and make your sauce.

After two to three ladles full of stock has gone in, add the sage. Start with one tablespoon, and if you want to add more, do so near the end of the cooking time. Taste for salt and add is needed; it will depend on your stock.

Continue this for about 25 to 30 minutes. Taste the rice after 20 minutes, and then monitor it. You may need more or less than five cups of broth. I like my risotto loose, so I add another splash of broth in at the end. Once your rice is done to your liking, stir in the cheese and let it cook another one to two minutes. Serve at once.

To read about how Hank used the "rare gift" of wild spring turkeys in the kitchen, click here.

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Hank Shaw runs the website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, nominated for Best Food Blog by the James Beard Foundation in 2009 and 2010. He is the author of the recently released Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast. More

A former line cook, veteran political reporter, and fisherman, Hank Shaw is a freelance food writer who runs the website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, which chronicles Shaw's search for what he calls the Forgotten Feast: The seasonal foods--mostly wild--we once delighted in, but are now curiosities at best. Game, wild mushrooms, seafood, and wild plants all have a place in modern cooking, and Shaw spends his days exploring their possibilities on the plate.

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook was nominated for Best Food Blog by the James Beard Foundation in both 2009 and 2010 and by the International Association of Culinary Professionals in 2010. He is the author of the recently released Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast. His work has appeared in magazines such as The Art of Eating, Field & Stream, and Gastronomica. He hunts, fishes, forages, and gardens in Northern California with his girlfriend--and photographer--Holly A. Heyser.
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