During the chillier fall and winter weekends when it was just my mom, my sister, and I living in the California Bay Area, my mom would enjoy cooking her favorite hearty soups with garlic bread and this risotto recipe. I could often come home from my long weekend hours working retail to a bowl of risotto and a glass of wine before starting my homework for my community college classes at night. It made the house feel cozy and smell like fall! Fond memories.
I have in my old, crumpled, recipe notes that this recipe hails from Iowa Girl Eats! I always love to credit where I found the recipe if I have it, and I do want to share how much I love this recipe and it’s a favorite in our recipe box for the winter months.
I added a few notes to the recipe that were helpful to me while cooking. The first time I made this recipe, I sped through the addition of the broth to the rice (read on…) and the rice turned out crunchy! All my hard work for naught!
This is a slow-absorbing, lengthier recipe that might be best for special occasions, as it does take about an hour and a half from start to finish, but it is relatively cheap! I had a package of Italian mushroom chicken sausage on hand, which helped stretch this meal for our family and added additional protein.
Here is my recipe for Chicken Stock in the Instant Pot if you want to make your own base for this recipe and the freezer. It’s delicious and rich with collagen!
Bacon, Leek & Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4-6 // Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- (5 Cups) chicken broth
- (4 slices) bacon, chopped
- (3) small leeks – squiggly roots removed, bulb halved lengthwise, washed, and only the white and tender green parts of the bulb and leaves chopped
- (8 oz) baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- (1) large shallot, chopped
- (2 cloves) garlic, minced
- (1 Cup) arborio rice
- salt & pepper
- (1/4 Cup) dry white wine
- (1/4 Cup) parmesan, shredded or grated
- (1 TB) fresh thyme, chopped
- (12 oz) cooked, chopped Italian mushroom chicken sausage optional
- In a saucepan on a back burner, bring the chicken broth to a boil, then turn the heat to low and keep at a simmer.
2. Heat a large cast iron skillet or enameled cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute the bacon until crisp, then remove and drain on a paper towel. Reserve (2 TB) of the bacon grease in the pan and drain the rest.
3. In the same pan, add the leeks, mushrooms, and shallot. Turn the heat to medium-high, season with salt and pepper, and saute the veggies for 7-8 minutes until they are golden brown and wilted.
4. Add the garlic, and saute for 1 minute til fragrant.
5. Add the rice, cooking and stirring for 1 minute.
6. Turn the heat down to medium, add the wine. Stir til the rice has absorbed the liquid, about 4-5 minutes.
7. Add the chicken broth one ladle at a time, allowing each ladle to be fully absorbed by the rice before adding the next, stirring constantly (about one ladle every 5 minutes). You must take your time or the rice will end up crunchy inside and mushy outside. This takes about 45 minutes.
8. Remove from heat, and stir through with parmesan, bacon, thyme, and the cooked, chopped chicken sausage if you’re using it.
I love my enameled cast iron Dutch oven for this recipe! This recipe would also fit well in a 12″ skillet, but the rice might end up sticking to the bottom more. Cast iron holds an even heat so well, especially for our dodgy electric apartment stovetop.
I made this using my chicken stock recipe that I stewed up a few weeks prior. To prepare for this recipe, I let a mason jar of about (3 Cups) of it mostly defrost in the fridge for about 2-3 days, then heated it up the rest of the way on the stove in step 1 of this recipe. I used the other (2 Cups) of broth from a box I had recently opened. The flavor was delicious!
Dry White Wine
I opened a bottle of 2021 Cupcake Pinot Grigio for this recipe. I liked the flavor, but you do get what you pay for with wine, more or less. This bottle was $10, you can always use nicer if you have it and then serve yourself a glass of it while you’re cooking! I’ll have to wait til after January to enjoy that perk…but it makes the incessant stirring more enjoyable.
Let me know what you think of this risotto! It’s a family favorite over here. Leave a comment below!