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  • In a small saucepan, bring the stock, saffron and 1 cup water to a low boil. Lower the heat and keep warm.

  • In a heavy skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the onion, celery, chile, garlic and thyme for 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute; season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and cook to evaporate. Begin adding the warm saffron stock a few ladlefuls at a time, allowing it to absorb almost completely before adding more, stirring rapidly and frequently to develop the starch until the risotto is creamy, about 18 minutes. Stir in the cheese and butter.

  • In a bowl, season the crabmeat with the Old Bay and hot sauce to taste. Remove the risotto from the heat and gently stir in the crab. Serve immediately in shallow bowls.