Risotto, with mushrooms, cep roasted chicken, and summer truffle

Risotto, with mushrooms,
cep roasted chicken, and summer truffle
There are a thousand different ways to make risotto, but how do you make risotto memorable?  In the last twenty years there are four that I can recount in vivid detail:
  • In Lucca, we had an amazing barolo risotto with gorgonzola - umami heaven - salty, blue notes, rich, dense, it was utterly heavenly.
  • When Ramsey at Claridges was still a restaurant, and not a tourist destination, we had an amazing risotto with guinea fowl. The risotto was rich and dark - with a jus poured over it at the table - intense, meaty, the guinea fowl succulent and yielding.
  • There used to be an amazing little restaurant just above Picadilly, on the first floor at the apex of the junction of Picadilly and Regent Street - I have absolutely no memory of its name. Here we had a complete contrast - a light spring risotto of new peas, broad beans and asparagus... It was still rich and flavoursome, but I think had been lightened with something like marscapone, so it was silky and rich, but didn't swamp the spring vegetables...
  • All of these are some time ago and I'd all but given up on risotto - for heavens sake - you can buy risotto in a tub now to be microwaved! But at Dinner we had an incredible saffron risotto that was so eye-wateringly rich and moreish that I decided it had to reappear on my menu. 

The opportunity presented itself when I couldn't decide what to do with the truffle I'd bought from @mistertruffle. I always automatically stick a truffle straight into my risotto rice when it arrives - an opportunity that can't be missed - so it was already delicately scented before I began. There were a number of factors that made me decide on risotto, not least of which is a well-stocked larder, and some exceptional suppliers.

Cep powder from Fine Food Specialists
Wine or Noily Prat
Cornfed chicken breasts
And a jar of my standby favourite mixed mushrooms - I use the oil to boost the mushroom flavour in stews, soups etc.  With ingredients like that, how could you go wrong?

  1. Before you begin, pop the jus into a pan to warm, I think I used three packets, they're not huge, but substitute good stock if you don't have this
  2. Brush the chicken with oil, and dust with a coating of the cep powder, pop in the oven  
  3. Puree the morels and cook them out in a separate pan with the drained oil from the jar of mushrooms, or some olive oil
  4. Pop in the risotto rice, and cook it until the rice becomes translucent
  5. Pour in a small glass of wine at this point, and allow the rice to absorb it - actually I usually use noilly prat because I have it to hand...  
  6. Once the rice has absorbed all of the alcohol, gradually ladle in the stock, two ladles at a time, until the liquid is absorbed
  7. Once the rice is cooked, grate some truffle over the top of the risotto and stirred it in, off the heat.  I've added it at the end because this is a summer truffle, and the scent and flavour is much more delicate than the winter - you don't want to lose it in the rice
  8. Plate, with the roasted chicken, and top with finely sliced truffles... Oh, and a tiny drizzle of truffle oil...  Fabulous! 
Summer truffles....

The rice, after the stock is added for the first time...
The colour comes from the morel puree and the oil from the mushrooms

The cornfed chicken, roasted in a coating of cep powder

The risotto receives it's adornment of grated summer truffle

Risotto, with mushrooms, cep roasted chicken, and summer truffle