- 3.5 litres good-quality chicken stock (see note)
- 200 gm peeled chestnuts (see note)
- 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 320 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- ½ small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 750 gm carnaroli rice
- 100 gm finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 150 gm small shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed
- 150 gm small Swiss brown mushrooms, stems trimmed
- 100 gm small pine mushrooms or wood blewits when available, stems trimmed
- 150 gm baby spinach leaves, stalks trimmed
- 1Place 1 litre of chicken stock in a saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat for 20 minutes or until reduced to 200ml. Heat remaining chicken stock in a separate saucepan over medium heat and keep warm.
- 2Preheat oven to 160C. Place prepared chestnuts in a roasting pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and 20gm butter and roast for 20 minutes or until tender and golden.
- 3Heat 50gm butter and 50ml olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan, add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes or until soft. Add rice, stir to coat, then add non-reduced chicken stock ½ cup at a time, stirring, adding more as liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (you may not need to use all the stock). Remove from heat, add 200gm butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine.
- 4Meanwhile, heat 25gm butter and half the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan. Add half the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden and tender. Add half the roasted chestnuts and half the reduced chicken stock and stir to combine. Spoon into a bowl and keep warm. Repeat with remaining butter, oil, mushrooms, chestnuts and reduced stock.
- 5Add mushrooms to risotto, reserving a few. Add spinach leaves and stir to combine. Serve risotto garnished with reserved mushrooms.
Note Frozen chestnuts are available from The Essential Ingredient or visit www.cheznuts.com.au. Thaw before roasting. To prepare fresh chestnuts (400gm unpeeled), score top and bottom of each with a knife and place on a wire rack over an oven tray. Roast in a pre-heated 180C oven for 10-12 minutes or until skin splits, transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Stand for 10 minutes to steam, then peel, removing hard outer and thin inner shells. Cook as per recipe method. Good quality chicken stock is available from select butchers. Peter Gilmore makes his by placing roast chicken wings, carrot, onion, celery, thyme, a bay leaf and 1 tsp peppercorns in a heavy-based saucepan, covering with boiling water and simmering for 1-2 hours.