Butter Poached Lobster Risotto

Recipe Date: October 25, 2018
Serving Size: 4
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Measurements: Imperial (US)

An French & Italian classic worth the extra effort!


  • For the Lobster:
  • 2 gallons water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 Chicken lobsters (1 ½ pounds each)
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, cut into 1 TB chunks
  • 2 TB water
  • -----------------------------
  • For the Risotto:
  • 2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TB Butter
  • 1 small Onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup Arborrio Rice
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock, preferably home made, very warm or simmering
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Salt & fresh Ground Pepper


Prepare the Lobster:

1. Bring water to boil in large stockpot.

2. When water boils, add vinegar, immediately turn off heat and plunge in the lobsters, keeping submerged with tongs, poaching for  2 minutes (3 minutes if they are 2  to 2 ½ pounds).

3. Remove lobsters to cutting board, quickly and sharply twist of claws and arms of each at the body, then return the claws to the pot to steep for another 5 minutes.

4. Grab the body of the lobster with one hand, the tail in the other, and quickly twist and pull tail off for both lobsters.

5. Flip lobster tails over, and using kitchen scissors, cut lengthwise up the clear underbelly and remove meat in one piece.

6. Rinse well under cold water, pat dry, and transfer to a bowl.

7. Remove claws from poaching water and cool under running cold water, separating arms from claws.

8. Gently crack claws and arms with a mallet, and extract claw meat in one piece as much as possible, and push meat out of arms, then rinse pat dry and add to the bowl.

9. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

10 .Clean lobster shells and bodies from all inerts leaving only the shells, rinse, drain and dry well, then freeze in a large Ziploc bag for use in Lobster Bisque.

11. When ready to serve, heat 2 TB water to boiling in a 10” sauté pan, reduce heat to medium, and start whisking in butter pads 1 or 2 at a time to create an emulsion until all butter is incorporated and you have a smooth butter sauce. It should almost simmer.

12. Place lobster in pan and poach for 4-5 minutes for large pieces, 3-4 for smaller chunks, turning once.

13. Drain and serve immediately, reserve butter emulsion for repeat use some other time.


Removing the claw meat in one piece takes practice, and best to twist and crack the lower pincher and remove it, then remove some of the shell and the base, and then you can try to pull the entire claw out from the joint where it met the arm. Twist off smaller feeler legs (about 6 on each side) and use a rolling pin to roll out/squeeze out meat, and save legs for frozen shell bag.

Prepare the Risotto:

1. Heat oil and butter in a 10″ Sauté Pan over medium heat.

2. Add onion, a pinch of salt, and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.

3. Add rice and cook until slightly toasted and aromatic, about 3 minutes.

4. Add white wine and cook until reduced, about 2 minutes.

5. Slowly begin to add the warm stock by adding 1 cup to the Risotto and bring to a bare simmer, stirring constantly.

6. Continue to add warm stock to the rice, always stirring and keeping at a simmer until all the stock is used, about 18-20 minutes.

7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

8. Divide and plate the Risotto on 4 plates, and garnish each with 1/4 of the warm Lobster meat that is concurrently poaching in butter in the other pan.

9. Garnish plates with chopped Italian parsley or chives, and Parmigiano-Reggiano crisps if desired.


Lobster can be prepared and extracted from the shell a day in advance and chilled, then poached at the same time as the Risotto is being prepared.