1. Add the saffron threads to a tiny splash of water. Let them soak for 10 minutes until the water turns orange. If you use saffron powder, skip this step!
2. Transfer a tablespoon of the butter to a large non-stick pan and place the pan over medium heat. Let the butter melt and then add the chopped garlic and onion.
3. Stir for a couple of minutes until the onion looks translucent. Add the risotto rice.
4. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in a little of the hot chicken stock.
5. Gently cook the rice for 3 minutes over medium-low heat until the liquid has disappeared. Season with a little pepper and salt. Stir in the saffron powder or threads.
6. Gradually add more of the hot stock until the risotto is almost tender (check the tenderness regularly to avoid overcooking the rice!). This will take about 12 to 15 minutes. Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the rest of the butter and the grated parmesan.
7. Let the risotto rest for 2 minutes. Check the seasoning and add pepper and a little salt to taste if necessary. Scoop the cooked risotto onto plates. Serve immediately while hot.