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Article: Chorizo Risotto

Chorizo Risotto

Ahwahnee Restaurant, Yosemite National Park, USA, revisions by James R. Kirkley, IV


  • 1 pound, chorizo
  • 1 1/2 cups, Arborio or Camaroli rice
  • 3/4 cup, white wine
  • supply of near boiling chicken stock or chicken broth
  • 1 shallot – chopped
  • 4 cloves, garlic – minced
  • 4 peppercorns – toasted and ground
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • butter – cubed
  • manchego cheese (you may substitute Pecorino, Romano or Zamorano) – shredded


1. Brown Chorizo and strain, retain some of the fat

2. Toast peppercorns and ground

3. In rondo heated on medium heat, saute’ rice in Chorizo fat until toasted

4. Add shallots and garlic and continue to saute’ for 1-2 minutes

5. Add wine and cook down until almost dry

6. Slowly add chicken stock a few ladles at a time stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Chicken stock must to kept at near boiling temperature during this process. This is a slow and important process. Add only a ladle or two of stock at a time. Taste the rice often for texture, it should be creamy, if it’s chalky it’s underdone if it’s mushy you weren’t paying attention – you better start over.

7. Season with salt and pepper

8. When 3/4 of the way cooked add the Chorizo

9. Finish with butter and Manchego cheese

10. Serve, plate in large flat bowl using a huge splash of something green (basil, thyme or parsley) as a garnish. Go vertical with the garnish

Risotto, underdone it’s chalky and nasty, overdone it’s mushy and nasty. This is a 22-minute never-fail recipe for perfect Risotto. I had to spend extra time in the Ahwahnee kitchen and wrestle this recipe out of my executive chef’s clinched fist! This i one of those recipes where you eat it and your whole body goes...YUM!I’ I like serving this recipe with a small piece of grilled chicken breast to cut the repetitive taste of the rice, because sometimes there is, indeed, too much of good thing.