Chances are that you’ve been a Neighbor for some time now (if not, welcome!), you’ll know that we can be rather rhapsodic about the arrival of the spring peas. This risotto ensures that you’ll wring every last drop of sweetness out of them.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fresh pea pods
  • 8 cups chicken stock (recipe below) or reduced-sodium canned broth
  • 3 carrots with tops (leave tops on one). Halved lengthwise
  • 1 medium onion, halved
  • 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano (optional)
  • 3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme (optional)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices pancetta or bacon
  • 1 small bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 ¾ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the Chicken Stock

  • 1 whole chicken (3 ½ pounds)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup leek greens (optional)
  • 1/3 cup parsley sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 back peppercorns

Additional Information

  • Cook Time: 3hr

Instructions

Shell the peas (you should have about 3 cups) and reserve the pods.

Rinse the pea pods and place them in a large pot with the chicken stock, carrots (with top), onion, parsley, oregano (if using), and lemon thyme (if using). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour.

Strain the broth into a large bowl. Discard the carrots, onion, and herb sprigs. Set a food mill over the bowl of broth, add the pea pods, puree them into the broth. Return the broth to the original pot and return to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large heavy pot, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until the fat begins to appear clear. Add the scallions and cook until just tender, about 1 minute. Add the wine and shelled peas. Stir to coat with fat, and simmer, uncovered, until the wine is mostly evaporated, about 1 minute.

Add the rice to the pot and stir over high heat until very lightly browned and a little translucent. Add one ladleful of the pod broth. Stir the rice, and when the broth is mostly absorbed, add another ladleful. Continue adding more pod broth by the ladleful, stirring well before adding another. The rice should start to form a creamy texture, but it should still be a teeny bit al dente; it should not turn into mush. (You may not need all of the broth.) Serve hot, topped with the Parmesan.

Variation: For a vegetable version, make the pea broth with water instead of chicken stock. Omit the pancetta and use 2 tablespoons olive oil when you cook the scallions.

Chicken Stock

Remove the giblets and neck. Cut the chicken into 10 pieces (wings, thighs, drumsticks, and breasts cut into 4 pieces). In a large pot, combine the chicken giblets (but not the liver), neck, and 12 cups water. Bring to a boil, skimming any foam that comes to the surface.

Add all the remaining ingredients and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 2 ½ hours. Strain and let cool to room temperature.

The stock will keep in the fridge for 3 days. For longer storage, freeze it in portion sizes that you are likely to use, or freeze it in ice cube trays and then once the cubes are frozen, pop them into the freezer bags. The frozen stock will keep for at least 3 months.

This recipe can be found in our Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook.

by Josh and Brent

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