Peel and finely chop the onion. Add the oil to a deep 12-inch skillet over medium high heat on the stove. Add the onion and cook until it's tender, about five minutes.
While the onion is cooking, add chicken stock and water to a medium pot and set it over medium heat on the stove, with a ladle nearby.
When the onions are tender, add the Arborio rice to your skillet and stir it around for a minute or two. Add the cup of wine and continue stirring, pushing the rice toward the middle and scooping the wine over it, until the liquid is absorbed.
Add a ladle (½ cup) of the chicken stock mixture to the skillet and stir until it is absorbed by the rice (push the rice toward the center and scoop the liquid over it as you go.) Continue adding one ladle of liquid at a time, stirring frequently after each addition and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding the next ladle. You may need to lower the heat under the pot with the chicken stock, to keep it at a simmer.
The risotto is cooked when the rice is just tender but not mushy. It will take 30-35 minutes once you've added the rice to the pan, and your chicken stock mixture will be almost gone. Turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan and pepper. Taste the risotto to see if it needs any salt. (It might not, depending on the stock you used.)
Serve risotto as a side dish or beneath your meat, fish and veggies on the plate. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four days. The leftovers also freeze well.
Using Arborio rice, which has a high starch content, is key to a creamy risotto. If you don't have Arborio, Carnaroli is another starchy Italian rice that would work, if you can find it.
For the white wine, it’s best to use something you’d love to drink, as opposed to a cooking wine, which tends to be sweet and salty. I always use my hubby’s homemade Sauvignon-Blanc.