Tasting a rice grain is the best way to check for doneness, but what if you aren't sure what texture you are looking for? Chen recommends using your finger to smear a grain on a smooth surface to check for the correct al dente texture. Undercooked rice will be chunky with a large, white center (see above photo, left), while overcooked rice will be very smooth with no opaque whiteness (above photo, right). What you are looking for is a fairly smooth smear with a little bit of white in the middle, which you can see in the center grain above.
The article includes several more helpful tips on making great risotto, along with a recipe.
Check it out: How to Make Rockin' Risotto at Gilt Taste
Do you have any tips for making risotto?
(Image: Gilt Taste)