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Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: About 3 dozen arancini
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes, plus cooling time
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes, plus cooling time
¼ pound guanciale, cut into ¼-inch dice (substitute pancetta or bacon)
1 small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
¾ cup white wine
5 cups chicken stock, warmed
½ cup shelled peas, roughly chopped
2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups canola oil
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
1. Prepare the guanciale: In a large, deep sauté pan, cook the guanciale on medium-low heat until crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove the cooked guanciale from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then roughly chop and set aside.
2. Make the rice: Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat from the sauté pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains evenly with the rendered fat. Increase the heat to medium, add the white wine and boil until the liquid has reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to add stock each time the rice looks dry, stirring constantly, until the rice is tender and you have added all the stock, about 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Add the peas, Parmesan and the cooked guanciale to the risotto and mix well to combine. Remove the pan from the heat. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg with a large spoonful of the warm rice mixture, then slowly add the egg-rice mixture back into the risotto, stirring briskly to prevent the egg from clumping or curdling. Return the pan to low heat and continue stirring until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then spread over a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until cool. With a 1-inch ice cream scoop, form the chilled rice mixture into balls and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil to 350°. Add the flour to a shallow baking dish or cake pan. Add the panko breadcrumbs to a second shallow baking dish. In a third shallow baking dish, whisk together the remaining 2 eggs with ¼ cup of water until well combined. Dip each ball in the flour, rolling to coat, then dip into the beaten egg, allowing the excess egg to drip off. Finally, roll the balls in breadcrumbs, shaking to remove any excess. Return the dredged balls to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
5. Add to the arancini to the hot oil in small batches and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Serve warm.