Prawn Risotto with Fennel and Saffron

Recipe courtesy of Estate Chef

Serves 4-6


1 ½ lbs fresh Prawns or Shrimp

4 C water

1 large Onion, minced, plus ½ Onion cut into 8 pieces

3 cloves Garlic, minced, plus 2 whole Garlic cloves

1 Fennel Bulb, minced, large stalks and core kept and cut into 1” lengths

1 Bay Leaf

2 sprigs Thyme

Salt and Black Pepper

1 tsp Saffron threads

2 Tbl Butter

2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 C Arborio Rice

2 oz St. Supéry Andrew Jackson Dollarhide Brandy

½ C St. Supéry Estate Sauvignon Blanc

½ C Parmesan, grated

Tender inner fronds from Fennel, rough chopped

1 tsp Lemon zest

BEST CHOICE: Giant tiger prawns farmed worldwide in indoor recirculating tanks or ponds with wastewater treatment are a Best Choice.


  1. Peel the prawns and remove the heads and tails.
  2. Place the shells, the tails, and the heads in a large pot, along with ½ onion, 2 whole cloves garlic, the stalks and core from the fennel, plus the bay leaf and thyme. Add 4 cups water, a hefty pinch of salt and a bit of pepper. Simmer for 1 hr, then strain the stock and pour into a pot, keeping hot. Add saffron to the stock and let rest at least 10 minutes before using.
  3. Devein prawns and finely chop. (If desired, you can save a few whole prawns for garnishing the completed dish; simply poach in the stock for a few minutes, until firm and cooked through.)
  4. In a deep skillet, season and sauté the minced onion, garlic, and fennel in the butter and olive oil until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until rice is toasted.
  6. Add the brandy to the pan and cook until absorbed, then add the wine and do the same.
  7. Slowly add the saffron stock, a few ladles at a time, stirring frequently, until rice is almost cooked through, about 15 minutes. (You may not need all the stock.)
  8. Add the finely chopped prawns and cook 1-2 minutes more, until rice and prawns are fully cooked.
  9. Taste for seasoning, stir in the parmesan, divide between bowls, and top with fennel fronds, lemon zest, and whole prawns, if using.

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Wine Pairing: St. Supéry Rutherford Estate Vineyard Merlot

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