May Roasted spring chicken with a morel sauce and asparagus risotto

English asparagus should be at its best, so make the most of it, beautiful on its own, in risotto, soups, in salads, as a vegetable & as a canape. The season is short, but food wise the opportunities are endless

Even though Jersey Royals are available at the end of March, they are at their best in May….simply boil & dress in minted butter

The salad ingredient range increases with radish’s & chicory. Chicory is also great to cook, caramelised with orange & served with duck works extremely well.

This is your last chance to use the firm, tasty mushroom morel. Try this spring chicken recipe below that also uses asparagus


Roasted spring chicken with a morel sauce and asparagus risotto (4)


For the brine

For the roasted spring chicken and morel sauce

For the parmesan & asparagus risotto


1. For the brine, add 500ml water to a pan. Add the salt, bay leaves and thyme and bring to the boil, then leave to cool.

2. For the roasted spring chicken and morel sauce, truss the chicken for roasting. Place all the chicken in the cooled brine and set aside in the fridge for eight hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C

4. Remove the chicken from the brine and soak in cold water for five minutes.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Add the lemon juice to the sauce and pass through a fine sieve.

8. Once the sauce has been strained, poach the morels in the sauce. Set aside until ready to serve.

9. For the parmesan risotto, heat a heavy-based pan and melt the butter & oil. Add the shallots, thyme, chopped asparagus stalks and celery and cook for three minutes, then add the garlic cook for a further minute.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. To serve, carve the chicken and divide between serving bowls. Spoon over the sauce and add the risotto on the side. Top with blanched asparagus tips