Saffron Risotto with Lobster

Decadent, delicious and simply stunning! (adapted from “Sunday Suppers at Lucques” by Suzanne Goin)


  • 1/4 t saffron threads
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 1 qt canned chicken broth
  • 1/2 c diced white onion
  • 1/4 c diced shallot
  • 2 t fresh (or dried) thyme
  • 1 dried chile de arbol, chopped
  • 1 cup (err on the lighter side) Arborio rice
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • 2 T parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 grated parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


  • pour the chicken broth into a pan and set to low heat to warm through
  • slowly melt the 3T of butter
  • lightly toast the saffron in a small pan until slightly fragrant and ried out
  • put the dried saffron into a mortar and pestle and crush into a power – be sure to brush the dust off the mortar!
  • pour the butter into the saffron power and stir it up gently – bend down and smell!
  • heat a saucepan on the stove with medium heat – add the saffron butter, onion, shallot, chile and thyme – lightly season with salt and pepper
  • saute the onion for several minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent
  • add the rice and stir and saute for 2-3 minutes
  • add the wine and stir until the wine is absorbed
  • pour yourself a glass of wine!
  • using a baster or a ladle, add about a cup of chicken broth to the pan and start stirring
  • reduce heat and keep a slow rhythmic stirring going continuously
  • as the rice absorbs the broth, add more, a 1/2 cup at a time and keep stirring
  • After about 20 minutes, start tasting the rice for doneness
  • Keep stirring and adding broth until the rice is nearly done – just the other side of al dente
  • stir in the parmesan cheese and half the parsley
  • as you serve, sprinkle top with remaining parsley as garnish

This risotto dish is a great side starch for a bold meat. It can also stand as a meal with the addition of some lobster, shrimp or scallops. The secret: drink wine and get into the Zen of stirring!

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