- Put the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave to soak for 20 minutes, then drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Finely chop the mushrooms and set aside. Strain the liquid into a saucepan. Add the stock and keep hot over a very low heat.
- Brush 1 tsp of the oil over a ridged cast-iron grill pan and heat it. Add the duck breasts, reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 8–12 minutes, turning once, until done to your taste. Remove from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes, then cut into thin slices. Keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the remaining oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and fry gently for 4–5 minutes or until softened. Add the rice and stir for about 1 minute to coat it with the oil.
- Add the wine and bubble until it has almost all been absorbed. Stir in the lemon zest, thyme and porcini mushrooms, then add a ladleful of the stock. Bubble, stirring frequently, until it has almost all been absorbed, then add another ladleful of stock. Continue adding the stock gradually in this way – total cooking time will be 15–20 minutes. The risotto is ready when the rice is tender but still firm and the texture is moist and creamy.
- About 5 minutes before the end of cooking time, heat the remaining 2 tsp of oil and the butter in a large frying pan. Add the fresh mushrooms and sautéover a high heat for 4 minutes or until tender.
- Stir the mushrooms into the risotto together with the duck and any duck juices. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan and leave to stand off the heat for 5 minutes before serving.
For a clam and crab risotto, scrub 900 g (2 lb) fresh clams under cold running water, discarding any open ones that do not close when sharply tapped. Pour 150 ml (5 fl oz) dry white wine into a large saucepan and add the clams with 2 peeled garlic cloves. Cover tightly, bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until the clams have opened. Tip into a colander set over a bowl. When cool enough to handle, remove the clams from their shells, discarding any that haven't opened. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and make up to 1 litre (1¾ pints) with vegetable stock. Keep hot over a low heat. Soften 1 chopped onion in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large saucepan. Stir in 2 chopped celery sticks, 1 thinly sliced fennel bulb and 340 g (12 oz) risotto rice. Cook for 1 minute, then add the stock as in the main recipe, a ladleful at a time. When the risotto has finished cooking, stir in the clams, 170 g (6 oz) fresh white crab meat, 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill and seasoning to taste.
Removing the skin and fat from duck breasts lowers the fat content considerably: skinless duck breast contains only a little more fat than skinless chicken breast. * Most recipes use mushrooms in such small quantities that the nutritional contribution they make to the diet is not as great as that of flavour and texture. Here a good quantity is used, which boosts the B vitamins and minerals in the dish. * Red onions have been shown to contain higher levels of flavonoids – compounds that can help to protect against heart disease – than white onions.
Each serving provides
B12, niacin, copper, zinc * B1, B2, E, iron, potassium * B6, folate, selenium