I can imagine many of you who read the last post about homemade chicken stock were probably thinking, “What’s the point?”
You were probably thinking that in far less time and with far fewer dirty dishes, you could just buy a carton of the boxed stuff, squeeze it into your braise or your soup and be done with it. And though I’d urge you, if you insist on using pre-packaged stock, to follow Michael Ruhlman’s advice to use water instead, I have a compelling dish for you to try on the day you do finally make your own chicken stock; that dish is risotto.
Risotto, more than any other dish (except maybe soup), becomes an entirely different entity when you use homemade stock. The Arborio rice acts like a sponge and sucks up all the wholesome goodness of your stock; the resulting risotto is richer and way more intense than any risotto you could make with a boxed stock. So do this: make your own stock, whenever you get the chance, and then make my citrus risotto with seared scallops. It’s a really simple process: just cook an onion (I used a red onion this time) in butter, add the rice for a minute and then start ladling in stock. At the very end you add the supremed fruit, its zest and its juices. This time, as you can see in the picture above, I had a beautiful result using two Meyer lemons and–this was the kicker–two blood oranges.
Make stock then make risotto and I guarantee you’ll never make risotto with a boxed stock again.