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Stanley Tucci’s Lemon Risotto with Whole Roasted Branzino

Serves 4

“Food, like film, is performance. Both are dramatic, romantic, spectacular or sad,” says Eric Ripert. Join him and guest Stanley Tucci as they start the day with vodka martinis, prepare lemon risotto and whole branzino, talk about their childhoods, quip over how actors are like chefs, and then enjoy the final dish. Print Recipe

Lemon Risotto

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive
   oil, plus additional for
   serving
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 ½ cups Vialone Nano rice
½ cup dry white wine
5 cups hot homemade chicken
   stock or low-sodium store-
   bought broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup grated Parmigiano-
   Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 large lemon, plus
   additional for garnishing
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Fine sea salt and freshly
   ground black pepper

Whole Roasted Branzino

1 (1 ½ pound) whole branzino,
   cleaned, gutted, and scales
   removed
Fine sea salt
6 cloves garlic, peeled and
   crushed
2 lemons, thinly sliced, plus
   additional for serving
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive
   oil, plus additional for
   serving
20 cherry tomatoes
¾ cup dry white wine
Stanley Tucci's Lemon Risotto with Whole Roasted Branzino

Lemon Risotto

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add wine, and using a wooden spoon, scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Continue stirring until wine is absorbed. Using a ladle, add ½ cup hot chicken stock at a time and stir continuously until mostly absorbed. Continue adding stock until the rice is “al dente” but not crunchy, about 20 minutes (you may want to add less than ½ cup stock at a time as rice nears doneness).

Stir in butter, until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Stir in lemon juice and zest. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with chopped parsley and remaining zest. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Whole Roasted Branzino

Preheat oven to 500˚F. Season both sides and the cavity of fish with salt. Arrange the 3 cloves garlic, lemon slices, rosemary, thyme, and parsley inside cavity.

In a large roasting pan, add olive oil. Transfer fish to pan. Toss in cherry tomatoes and remaining garlic in pan. Add ½ cup wine. Place pan in oven and cook, turning once and adding remaining wine, until skin becomes crispy, about 10 minutes. (To test for doneness, insert a metal skewer into the middle of fish for 5 seconds. Remove the skewer and if warm, then fish is cooked).

Transfer fish to serving plate. Arrange roasted tomatoes and lemon slices alongside fish, and drizzle with pan juices. Serve immediately.