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Chicken sausage, mushroom, and raisin risotto

Serves 6

1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup boiling water
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken sausage, removed from the casing and crumbled
2 cups diced baby bella mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
5 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1. In a heatproof bowl, combine the raisins and water; set aside.

2. In a large flameproof casserole, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through and the mushroom liquid has evaporated from the pan. Use a slotted spoon to remove the mixture from the pan.

3. Wipe out the pan. In the casserole, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the celery, onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, warm the chicken stock over low heat; it should not come to a boil.

5. Add the rice to the vegetable mixture, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until the kernels turn translucent. Add the wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed.

6. Add the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock, 1 cup at a time, letting the rice absorb each batch before adding more, until all the stock is used. Remove the pan from the heat.

7. Drain the raisins. Stir them into the rice with the thyme, sausage mixture, Parmesan, and more salt and pepper, if you like.

Adapted from Amory Rowe