This simple but rich chicken risotto is named after the men who guarded the treasures of Venice when it was known as La Serenissima, or the Serene Republic (the guards were called sbirraglia, or sbirri, and the latter term is still used as slang to refer to the police). The use of vialone rice reflects the importance that Italians place on their local ingredients. It is very hard-grained and is the rice most traditionally used in this region. The larger type, gigante, is hard to find outside of Italy or indeed the region itself, but fortunately vialone nano is easier to source, because it is widely exported.
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