Though this is delicious even in its simplicity, I give it distinction with a sprinkling of truffle salt. Truffle butter would also take this dish over the top; use it in place of the 2 tablespoons of butter at the end. You can also use this basic technique to try all varieties of risotto in your slow cooker. Want mushroom risotto? Sauté the mushrooms with the onion and eliminate the saffron. Easy.
Truffle salt can be found in gourmet food markets, in some upscale grocery stores, and online. While it’s not absolutely necessary here, it adds a complex, earthy note to the risotto. If you cannot find it, simply substitute sea salt or kosher salt.
Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, until softened. Then add the garlic, saffron, salt, and pepper, and toast the saffron for 30 seconds. Stir in the rice and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the wine, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 2 minutes, or until the wine has evaporated. Transfer the rice mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and add the chicken stock.
Cook on high for 2 hours.
Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the 1 cup of Parmesan. Serve warm in bowls, garnished with additional Parmesan and truffle salt.