Roasted spring chicken with a morel sauce and parmesan risotto
30 mins to 1 hour
A whole chicken is brined for extra juicy meat and then served with a wild mushroom sauce and creamy risotto.
By Tom Kerridge
From Spring Kitchen with Tom Kerridge
For the brine
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
For the roasted spring chicken and morel sauce
1 x 1kg/2lb 4oz spring chicken
knob of butter
oil, for basting
100ml/3½fl oz brown chicken stock
2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 sprig thyme, stalk only (leaves picked and reserved for the risotto)
50ml/2fl oz double cream
½ lemon, juice only
2 tbsp vin jaune (or 1 tbsp brandy and 1 tbsp white wine)
30g/1oz fresh morels
For the parmesan risotto
2 banana shallots, peeled and chopped
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tbsp peeled and chopped celery
1 garlic clove, grated
100g/3½oz carnaroli risotto rice
3 tbsp white wine
200ml/7fl oz brown chicken stock
50g/1¾oz parmesan, grated
salt and pepper
1 lemon, juice only
2g celery leaves, washed
20g/¾oz buffalo mozzarella, chopped
For the brine, add 500ml/18fl oz water to a pan. Add the salt, bay leaves and thyme and bring to the boil, then leave to cool.
For the roasted spring chicken and morel sauce, French trim the wings and leg knuckles then truss the chicken for roasting. Place all the chicken in the cooled brine and set aside in the fridge for eight hours.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Remove the chicken from the brine and soak in cold water for five minutes.
Brush with a little butter and oil and roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Pierce the flesh of the thigh bone to make sure the juices are running clear and the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes.
For the sauce, heat the chicken stock, shallots and the stalk from the thyme in a pan. Cook until the volume of liquid has reduce to a syrup, then add the double cream and bring back to the boil.
Add the lemon juice and vin jaune to the sauce and pass through a fine sieve.
Once the sauce has been strained, poach the morels in the sauce. Set aside until ready to serve.
For the parmesan risotto, heat a heavy-based pan and melt 20g/¾oz of the butter. Add the shallots, thyme and celery and cook for three minutes, then add the garlic cook for a further minute.
Add in the risotto rice and coat the rice in the shallot and garlic butter. Cook until the risotto is dry then add the white wine and cook until absorbed. A bit at a time add the chicken stock, letting it absorb between each addition.
Once the risotto is cooked and a nice consistency – it should not be clumping together, it should be a loose texture – add the parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper as required.
To serve, place the remaining 50g/1¾oz butter in a frying pan and heat until nut-bown to make a beurre noisette. Finish with a little lemon juice.
Fold the beurre noisette, celery leaves, mozzarella and the remaining lemon juice through the risotto at the last minute.
To serve, carve the chicken and divide between serving bowls. Spoon over the sauce and add the risotto on the side.