Roast Chicken with Pesto Risotto Stuffing and Cheesy Field Mushrooms

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This is a wonderful version of roast chicken and while I was initially somewhat sceptical of the risotto stuffing, it only took one cook of this dish to convince me to pick it in my favourites in my recipe file. The mushrooms are the perfect accompaniment here and they also make a great addition to a tapas or mezze, so do keep them in mind for that purpose. I enjoy serving this dish at lunch as it has that sort of picnic feel about it and when combined with a glass or two of a Sauvignon Blanc you can be seriously happy with your meal. This recipe serves 4.

Roast Chicken with Pesto Risotto Stuffing and Cheesy Field Mushrooms

20g butter

1 shallot, finely chopped

3/4 cup Arborio rice

120ml white wine

300ml chicken stock

1.8kg whole chicken

Olive oil, to drizzle

8 Portobello mushrooms, stems removed

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

100g fontina cheese, sliced

1/4 cup pecorino, finely grated

Pesto

1 cup firmly packed basil leaves

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tablespoon lemon rind, finely grated

1/3 cup pecorino, finely grated

160ml extra virgin olive oil

To make the pesto, place basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon rind and pecorino in the bowl of a small food processor and process until roughly chopped. With the motor still running, slowly pour in the oil and process until combined. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 190C. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, add chopped shallot and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.

Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring, until the rice is coated. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, or until wine is absorbed. Add chicken stock, bring to the boil and cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir through the pesto. Let cool.

Spoon the risotto into the cavity of the chicken. Truss the chicken legs together with kitchen twine and using a skewer, secure the chicken skin to enclose the filling. Drizzle the chicken with oil and season with salt. Place the chicken in a large baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Arrange the mushrooms around the chicken, top with the thyme leaves, fontina and pecorino cheeses.

Drizzle with oil and roast for a further 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are golden.

Cut the chicken into pieces and serve with the cheesy field mushrooms and pesto risotto stuffing.




 

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