GREEN APPLE & BRIE RISOTTO

1 1/4 cups arborio rice
3 1/2 cups chicken stock (or more)
about 1/2 large Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped to thin pieces
1 bay leaf
4 oz Brie, white casing trimmed and cut to small chunks
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 strip of bacon, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Squeeze lemon half onto the chopped apples while you prepare the rest of the ingredients and also add the zest. Heat the chicken stock in a covered pan on low. In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and bacon and cook on medium-low, stirring for 6-8 minutes. Turn heat down if onions begin to brown. Add the rice and stir for another 1-2 minutes. Add a ladleful of the chicken stock and stir occasionally until it has absorbed. Repeat adding chicken stock and stirring occasionally, one ladleful at a time, until the stock is used up by a little over one half. Add the apples and bay leaf. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been used up and the risotto is cooked through but slightly al dente in the center. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired. (Add more stock or water if necessary.) Remove from heat and add the Brie. Stir once more, and serve immediately.

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