Chef Raymond Poitras suggests using guinea hens but small bone-in chicken breasts also work well in this quick-to-prepare entertaining dish.
1 small sweet potato, cooked
4 bone-in chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp (45 mL) Dijon mustard
1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, thyme and rosemary
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 small leek, white and light green part only, cut into matchstick pieces
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) arborio rice
1/3 cup (75 mL) Chardonnay or other white wine
3 1/2 to 4 cups (875 mL to 1 L) hot chicken stock
1 cup (250 mL) tightly packed arugula leaves, torn into pieces, stems removed
1/4 cup (50 mL) whipping cream
1/3 cup (75 mL) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
2. Peel and dice sweet potato.
3. Remove skin from breasts. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Brush breasts with Dijon mustard and cover with fresh herbs, patting gently to adhere.
4. Roast in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160°F (70°C). Remove from oven. Remove from baking dish and let rest while risotto finishes.
5. For risotto, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook leeks, mushrooms, thyme and rosemary, stirring, for 4 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a bowl.
6. Melt butter in a saucepan; add rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add Chardonnay and cook until absorbed.
7. Add 1 cup (250 mL) hot stock; adjust heat so stock bubbles gently and is absorbed slowly. Continue adding 1 cup (250 mL) stock at a time, stirring almost constantly, for 15 minutes.
8. Add diced sweet potato and mushroom mixture. Cook, stirring often, adding more stock when absorbed, until rice is just tender.
9. Add arugula and cream. Cook, stirring for 1 minute, until arugula is wilted.
10. Stir in Parmigiano and season with salt and pepper to taste.
11. Spoon risotto into wide bowls and top with herb-crusted breasts. Garnish with watercress and serve immediately.