This is my favorite accompaniment to Crispy Chestnut Veal, as it is flavorful in a gentle way that doesn’t overpower the delicious veal. The pale champagne color is part of its charm, so use a light colored stock and do not allow the shallots to brown.
2 cups champagne
2 cups light chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup arborio (risotto) rice
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Stir the champagne and the chicken broth together in a bowl or four-cup measuring jug. Bring to room temperature (or microwave on half-power for 30 seconds).
Finely chop the shallot and place in a large deep sauté pan with the olive oil. Sauté over medium high heat until the shallots are soft and translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat. Cook the rice until it is translucent around the edges, about three minutes. Pour in about 3/4 cup of the champagne mixture and cook, stirring constantly until the liquid is almost all absorbed. Continue adding the liquid, about 3/4 cup at a time, stirring after each addition and not adding more until the liquid is absorbed. This may take up to 20 minutes. Don’t raise the heat to speed things up, just be patient. After the last liquid is absorbed, taste to see that the rice is cooked but has a little bite to it. If needed, add a bit of water and stir until al dente. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and salt to taste.
This is best served immediately, but can be held, covered tightly, for about 20 minutes.
Serves 4- 6