Most of us have a mountain of leftover turkey sitting in the fridge right now. A few of us are lucky enough to have the leftovers from a wild turkey. What to do? First, make turkey broth. What to do with the broth? Soup is nice, but I can think of no better way to use fresh, homemade turkey broth than in this risotto.
I use wild turkeys for this recipe, 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 also use either wild California white sage or cultivated purple sage because I have both growing in my yard, but you can use regular sage — but be sure to use fresh sage, not dried. Also, it is important to brown the butter before adding the shallot because it imparts a nutty flavor you want with this dish.
As for the cheese, I use pecorino. You can use parmesan or any good grating cheese.
Wild Turkey Risotto
- 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 5 cups good turkey broth
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
- 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 saute 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add the rice and stir-fry it for 1-2 minutes, coating the grains with the butter.
- Start with 2 ladles full of the hot stock, about 1 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 2-3 ladles full of stock has gone in, add the sage. Start with 1 tablespoon, and if you want to add more, do so near the end of the cooking time. Taste for salt and add as needed; it will depend on your stock. Continue cooking, adding a little stock at a time and stirring for about 25-30 minutes. Taste the rice after 20 minutes, and then monitor it. You may need more or less than 5 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 1-2 minutes.