Risotto with crab and chilli

Serves 4-6

If you have live or whole cooked crabs you can make a stock from the shells. If not, you can use freshly picked crab meat and fish stock as the base and/or stir some of the brown meat in at the end.

1 crab weighing about 800g-1kg, cooked, the meat removed and shells reserved
60g butter
200g carnaroli rice
1-1.5ltrs approx of hot crab stock
2-3 red chillies, finely chopped
2-3tbsp chives, finely chopped
100g unsalted butter to finish
60ml double cream

For the crab stock

1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium leek, washed and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
20g butter
The shells from the crab, broken with a rolling pin or back of a knife
A few sprigs of thyme
1tsp fennel seeds
10 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
150ml white wine
2ltrs fish stock (good-quality cubes work well)

To make the stock, gently cook the onion, leek and garlic in the 20g of butter for a few minutes, until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour, giving the occasional skim.

Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve. The stock should be strong in flavour: if it's not, reduce it until the flavour is concentrated. You should be left with about 1-1 litres.

To make the risotto, melt the 60g of butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add the rice, stirring it well with a wooden spoon over a low heat for a minute. Gradually add the hot stock a little at a time, stirring constantly. When the rice is almost cooked, add the chilli and continue cooking for a few minutes, then add half the crab, the unsalted butter, double cream and chives; season if necessary. Warm the rest of the crab through under a grill, spoon the risotto on to warmed serving plates and scatter the crab on top.

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