Pressure Cooker Risotto

Ever since I bought my cheap pressure cooker, I’ve been exploring ways to use it in getting dinner to the table more quickly. This is important to me, as I often don’t get home from work until 7 or so, and I don’t want to spend an hour or two putting together a nice meal. I’m trying to eat more high fiber foods, such as brown rice, so the pressure cooker allows me to cook that rice in 20 minutes, rather than an hour.

Last night, I tried making risotto in the pressure cooker.  That’s right, risotto, which traditionally takes 20 to 30 minutes of constant attention.  But not in a pressure cooker.  You cook it for 8 minutes, without stirring.  And damn it, if it didn’t come out perfect!

Now you still have to cut up your vegetables for the soffritto.  Last night I used shallots, fennel, garlic and carrot.  I browned some boneless chicken thighs in the cooker, removed them, added the soffritto, and cooked for a couple of minutes.  Add the rice, stir to coat, some wine, chicken stock, and then the chicken.  Seal the cooker and cook for 8 minutes.  Release the steam, stir in grated cheese and butter, and serve.

This risotto was absolutely perfect.  Creamy and rich.  The starches from the arborio rice released into the broth, which surprised me.  I thought that the dish would be overly watery, but it wasn’t at all.  And the chicken was nicely cooked, too.

I may never make traditional risotto again.

Pressure Cooker Rissotto

  • 1-1/2 cups aborio rice
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Heat oil in pressure cooker without lid over high heat.  Salt and pepper chicken thighs and brown in hot oil.  Remove chicken from cooker and add shallot, carrots and garlic.  Stir for 1-2 minutes.  Add rice and stir for another minute.  Add wine, stir, and then add stock.  Add browned chicken thighs (including any exuded juices), bring to a simmer, and seal pressure cooker.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 minutes.

Release pressure, remove lid, and stir in cheese and butter.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 3-4.

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12 Responses to Pressure Cooker Risotto

  1. greg says:

    i feel that risotto requires actual stirring to be authentic

  2. Varmint says:

    I did not say that it was authentic. I just said it was tasty. What I need to do is a side-by-side taste test of the two methods to determine which makes a better risotto.

  3. gabrielle says:

    I could care less about authentic, but I am all about tasty. I’ve been wanting to buy a new pressure cooker; now I have the necessary motivation! Thanks!

  4. mkwewer says:

    I’m a little scared of pressure cookers (a vivid memory of my mother’s exploding ribs and sauce all over our house – I think I was about 5). I willing to struggle through the fear for easy risotto….

  5. Your Pal says:

    Just because you let him cook at your house does not mean that you have to fall into his evil clutches-lock, stock, and pressure cooker.

    Sheesh, man. Man up! I can’t take much more of this from you iPhone, GPS toting weenies.

    Do it right or just order Pizza Hut.

  6. Debbie Moose says:

    Having been raised by my mother, I can never use a pressure cooker or electric blanket. The first will explode in a ball of fire, the second will fry you as you sleep. This I was taught. However, this was a woman who kept jars of homemade pickled beets in her attic for 10 years.

  7. VaNC says:

    I am with Debbie about both electrical devices….I’m skeered of ’em.

    I recall catching a snippet of one of those Bourdain shows when some woman was cooking for him in some foreign country (borsht, I think?) and using a pressure cooker and he was hiding in the other room. Cracked me up.

  8. l says:

    I learned risotto making by observing my mom doing it in a pressure cooker, and it turns out fantastic, especially for the vegetable based risottos. My fave is radicchio risotto, to which you can add a few shrimp after opening the cooker.

  9. Indiana says:

    We made this over the weekend and it came out pretty well. It sure is easy and fast. The skin on the chicken thighs was nice and crisp after browning, but not after being left in the cooking risotto. Next time, I might be tempted to remove the skin from the chicken thighs after they’ve browned (leaving it on during browning to protect the meat), since I’m not a big fan of soft chicken skin.

  10. Carol says:

    I stummbled upon your lvoley blog when I typed “what to make for dinner” into google, goody! Now I’m in love! Thanks so much for all of your wonderful ideas, this is exactly what I needed! I live in Canada, so the season is a bit behind, but your ideas are still helpful. We had a horrible spring for gardening so everything is late this year. The only thing we’re eating from our garden is lettuce and herbs:-( The farmers market has tons of stuff ready though, I don’t know how they do it!!! Well that’s enough babbling for now. Consider me a devoted reader from now on! See you!

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  12. Femke says:

    A slow cooker and crock pot are same thing and take long time to cook food, a pssrruee cooker is a pot that has a top with a steam valve on top of the cover and cooks your food alot faster than the crock. Pressure cooker goes on top of the stove.

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