- 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
- A generous pinch of saffron (about 30 threads)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3 slices good-quality bacon, finely chopped
- 1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery heart, finely chopped
- 1 fresh Fresno chili pepper, seeded and very finely chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces crabmeat (from a plastic tub, not a can), picked over
- Old Bay seasoning
- Hot sauce
In a small saucepan, bring the stock, saffron and 1 cup water to a low boil. Lower the heat and keep warm.
In a heavy skillet, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, chili pepper, garlic and thyme, 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute; season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and cook to evaporate. Begin adding the warm saffron stock a few ladlefuls at a time, allowing it to absorb almost completely before adding more, stirring rapidly and frequently to develop the starch until the risotto is creamy, about 18 minutes. Stir in the cheese and butter.
In a bowl, season the crabmeat with the Old Bay and hot sauce, to taste. Remove the risotto from the heat and gently stir in the crab. Serve immediately in shallow bowls.