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Chicken, bacon and spinach risotto with porcini mushrooms and white truffle recipe

Photo: Chicken and truffle risotto

Photo: Chicken and truffle risotto

Sometimes we pick up great bargains at Tesco. These are not in the CFC (Condemned Food Counter- our fun name for the soon to be out of date/ reduced item shelf) rather in baskets or on the shelves. These are deluxe items that are just not selling in our branch. A few months ago we discovered the wonder of Tesco Finest Tellicherry peppercorns. These were reduced to half price and were a real revelation. Luckily I bought two packs and when these run out I will be searching for them on line. Normal peppercorns are a feint whisper compared to the flavour and depth of Tellicherry ones. Apparently they are left to ripen completely before harvesting.

Last week Danny returned home with a small jar labelled Urbani Tartufi (tuber magnatum pico) – Porcini Mushrooms in a White Truffle Paste. The 80g jar was reduced from £4.99 to £2.49. We love porcini mushrooms and truffles.
“It might be good spread on toast with scrambled egg?”
“Or in a frittata, or omelette?”

All too often we are given a luxury and it sits in the larder because we don’t want to waste it on just any old meal. Often by the time we decided to sample the luxury it’s well past its sell by date.

So I kept the diminutive jar out on the worktop beside the breadbin. This treat was not going to be lost in the larder.

This week I fancied a chicken risotto but didn’t have my favourite ingredients – red peppers and tomatoes. I had a pack of spinach leaves a couple of handfuls of diced chicken breast and some cooking bacon. Then my eye fell on the jar. Perhaps a teaspoon of the truffle mixture would transform the mundane into something spectacular.

It did.

The risotto smelt superb as it was cooking and finally I was able to gingerly taste the dish. It was pretty good without the truffle mixture but when broke the seal and stirred a teaspoon into the risotto the dish was wafted onto a distant ambrosial plane.
“This is not a summer dish,” mused Danny, “it’s perfect for a chilly evening like tonight but it’s too sultry to eat in a heat wave.”
“That’s fine as we don’t have many of them!”

Between you and me I had initially been horrified that D had spent £2.49 on that luxury. Having tasted this risotto, I’d happily pay £4.99 for a jar. There’s probably enough in the jar for at least 32 portions of this risotto.

Chicken, bacon and spinach risotto with porcini mushrooms and white truffle paste recipe (for 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 150g of chopped cooking bacon
  • 150 g of skinned and diced onion
  • 250g of Arborio rice
  • 250g of wilted fresh spinach
  • Half a tsp of finely chopped garlic
  • Half a tsp of dried mixed Italian herbs
  • 1 level tsp of Porcini Mushrooms in a White Truffle Paste
  • Two handfuls of diced cooked chicken
  • 500 – 700 ml of chicken stock (I added the gravy from the roast chicken and topped it up with boiling water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp of finely grated Pecorino cheese to serve (any more spoils the subtle flavours).

Method:

  1. Fry the bacon gently in a sauté pan until cooked (not crisped).
  2. Remove the bacon to a warm place and add the olive oil to the bacon juices in the saute pan. Gently fried the diced onion until transparent.
  3. Add the garlic and rice and stir so that the rice is coated in the oil and bacon fat. Add the herbs and gradually add the chicken stock, stirring between sploshes so that the rice absorbs the stock.
  4. Meanwhile wash and wilt your spinach in a large lidded saucepan over a medium heat (no need to added any more water just stir the spinach gently every now and then) the process should take about four minutes. Drain the spinach well.
  5. When the Arborio rice has soften but still has a bite stir in the spinach, truffle paste and chopped chicken. Remove the sauté pan from the heat and cover for five minutes to allow the chicken to heat through.
  6. Add salt and freshly ground blackpepper to taste. Serve on warmed plates with a sprinkle of pecorino cheese and a fresh leaf salad with a light dressing.

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3 Comments

  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mary

    I’m getting plumper and plumper – perhaps writing about the dishes has rhe same effect as eating them :0)

    Hello Heidi

    This is really tasty and well worth trying.

    I’ve removed all the cut price labels to reveal that it suggests just 4 days in the fridge. Thanks for asking as I assumed a 30 day window. I am going to freeze this in 1 teaspoon portions. I’m taking no chances – food poisoning can kill.

    Mushroom ketchup is a wow pull the dish around ingredient. Like anchovy essence – I’d find it hard to do without them.

  2. Heidi

    Sounds really interesting. I love a good risotto and have a lovely bed of spinach in the garden that needs regular havesting.
    Does the porcini/truffle paste have a long use by date once opened?
    I am a regular user of the mushroom ketchup since you mentioned using it in quite a few of your recipes so I’m quite happy to go with your judgement although have to agree with Mary as my waist line is definatley expanding! Best get gardening then and burn it all off!

  3. You’ve got to stop this – I’m getting plump just reading the receipes

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