Sunday Dinner: Duck & Mushroom Risotto

Geez, already nearly a month since I last visited AllTheFood and I have a few backed-up cooking adventures to share… here is the first instalment.

This risotto was made several weeks back, when I decided I’d finally do something with that Roast Duck carcass sitting in my freezer.

I found a recipe for duck stock here, and was pretty true to this recipe (although I did use lemon rind instead of lime).  The recipe itself was nice and simple and wow – what a result.  This was my first attempt at duck stock and I’d have to say I’m now longing to roast another duck just to make the stock again!  It was rich and flavourful and I could have just slurped it down all by itself (in fact I did with the leftover stock a couple of days later).

Duck Stock EDITED

I then embarked upon the risotto – I’m a big fan of risotto, it is probably one of my favourite dishes to whip up – but I did still look up a recipe for a little inspiration.

Mine ended up looking like this:

  • 20g dried mixed forest mushrooms soaked in water (can be found at the local supermarket)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio or short grain rice
  • 4 cups duck stock (freshly cooked and still warm; or re-warmed in a saucepan if refrigerated)
  • 1/3 cup white wine (this can also be replaced with verjuice)
  • 200g mixed mushrooms (I tend to use a combination of swiss brown, button and oyster when available)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 50g parmesan
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Extra parmesan to serve

Contrary to the recipe link above, I always pre-cook my mushrooms first to bring out more flavour.  In a deep saute pan, I fried all of the mushrooms with a little butter for about 5 minutes.  You want to cook the mushrooms until they have reduced and the water from the mushrooms has evaporated.  When they are ready, remove them from the pan and set aside.

Heat the oil in the saute pan on a medium heat, then add your onion & garlic.  Fry, stirring regularly, for about 3-4 minutes or until the onion starts becoming soft and clear – try not to let the onion brown too much.

Still on a medium heat, add rice and stir it through the onion mixture, frying for a minute or so.

Add the white wine/verjuice and saute the onion/rice mix until the wine has almost completely reduced.  You can tell when to add more liquid if you can see the bottom of the pan while you’re stirring (parting the rice-sea so to speak) – see below.

Risotto 1 EDITED

From here on in, add a ladle full of duck stock to the pan and continue to stir on a medium heat until the liquid reduces again as above.

Keep doing this, ladle by ladle, until the rice is cooked to your liking.

Depending on varying factors (amount of heat, type of rice) you may get through all the stock, or may have some leftover. If you do run out, just add a ladle of warm water and continue to cook until the rice is done – at that stage, it’s not going to affect the flavour.

When the rice is ready and there is still a little liquid left in the pan, add the mushrooms back into the mix.

Final consistency of the risotto?  I think this is all down to personal preference and I’m sure any traditionalist out there would probably say my risotto isn’t “creamy” enough, but I prefer it a little more on the structured side, less “soupy”.

Risotto 2 EDITED

When you’re happy with the consistency, turn off the heat then add your parmesan and knob of butter and put the lid on the pan for 30 seconds or so to let the butter and cheese melt.

One final mix and you’re ready to serve!

I served mine with the cheat’s version of smoked duck breast (pre-smoked & reheated – yep, that may be my poultry-cooking-phobia lingering) – but for the more adventurous, this recipe would also go well with a duck confit leg or fresh pan seared duck breast.

Risotto 3 EDITED

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