Cure your Winter Blues with Saffron

It’s winter and it’s cold here in Chicago and it’s time for hearty dishes and comfort food. One of my comfort foods of choice is the Risotto alla Milanese. Despite the fact nobody in my family is from Milan, this dish has been a staple in my mother’s kitchen forever. Most probably because it’s a fabulous way to put “leftover” chicken broth to use.

Here’s the recipe I’ve always used when making Risotto alla Milanese:

Ingredients (Serve 4)

1 2/3 cups rice (I prefer Parboiled or Arborio)

2 tablespoons butter

½ a medium yellow onion

1/2 cup white wine (optional)

4 cups chicken broth

1 package saffron powder

2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a pan over low heat, then add finely chopped onion. Cook slowly without browning.

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Add rice and toast for one minute or until translucent.

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Pour in white wine and stir until absorbed. Cover rice with hot chicken broth and cook, stirring every once in a while and adding broth as necessary when absorbed.

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After about 12 minutes, dissolve saffron powder in 1 tablespoon of broth and stir into the rice. Season with salt and pepper.

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Cook rice “al dente”, remove from the heat and combine with the Parmigiano Reggiano. Stir until creamy and serve immediately.

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Do you have your own recipe? Share it with us: comment on this blog, send us an email at, post it on facebook or tweet us @CivesUrbe

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