Chanterelle Risotto

4.79 from 14 votes
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A bowl of chanterelle risotto.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Chanterelle mushrooms, for most, are one of the highlights of summertime. Starting in June in the Deep South, they march northwards through the East and Midwest into Canada, where the fabled little chanties of Saskatchewan start popping in August.

Here in the West, where I live, chanterelles tend to be more of a winter thing, a bright spot in often rainy, gloomy winters. That’s when I designed this simple chanterelle risotto. It’s an Italian sort of a rice porridge loaded with chanties and their summer lover, sweet corn.

One of the keys to cooking chanterelles is to remember that they like sweet corn, thyme, butter and cream. So no matter how you cook your chanties, remember this and you’re on your way to a great meal.

Risotto, if you’ve never made it, needs to be made with Mediterranean varieties of rice. Most often Arborio, you can also use carnaroli, vialone nano, baldo and even Spanish bomba rice. Arborio is widely available all over the country, and is grown extensively in Texas and California. Let me reiterate: You can’t make risotto without one of these types of rices. So no long-grain rice, OK?

Once you have the rice, you make your chanterelle risotto by slowly adding water or stock, stirring often, so the special starches in this kind of rice slough off and make a creamy sauce.

Risotto can feature anything – I have more than a dozen risotto recipes here – but I really like doing it with mushrooms. I have whole separate recipes for porcini risotto and morel risotto, in fact. Risotto needs to be restrained to be good — only a few ingredients, so you can appreciate them — and using ‘shrooms as one of those ingredients puts them front and center; most mushroom recipes are really about something else, with the mushrooms playing a supporting role.

The end result is smooth, comforting. The chanterelles play the part of meat, the rice is cooked through but each grain distinct, the corn gives you bursts of sweetness. A light stock (I use pheasant or quail stock) builds body, and lots of grated cheese fill out the flavors.

Looking for more chanterelle recipes besides chanterelle risotto? I make a mean chanterelle pasta, and an even better chanterelle soup.

A bowl of chanterelle risotto.
4.79 from 14 votes

Chanterelle Risotto

While I designed this as a chanterelle risotto, nothing will go wrong if you use other mushrooms. Chanties and corn really love each other, though. Only chicken of the woods has an affinity for corn like chanterelles. Also, be sure to use a risotto rice like Arborio. 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced (or 1/2 cup minced onion)
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound chanterelle mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups risotto rice (arborio, carnaroli, etc)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 cups chicken or other light stock
  • 1 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese (pecorino or parmesan)

Instructions 

  • Bring the chicken or other stock to a gentle simmer in a pot. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in another pot and cook the shallot over medium heat until it softens, about 4 minutes. Salt it as it cooks. 
  • Add the garlic and diced chanterelles and turn the heat to medium-high. Stirring often, cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook another 2 minutes or so. You want the rice to get a little translucent. 
  • Pour in the white wine and add the thyme. The pot will sputter. Stir constantly until the rice has absorbed the wine. 
  • Once the wine has been absorbed, start adding the hot stock, a ladle or two at a time. You want to stir the rice often at this point, about every other minute or so. Keep it bubbling and boiling at a steady heat -- normally this means keeping the burner at medium. Keep adding stock and stirring often until the rice is cooked, but still a little al dente at the center, about 20 minutes. 
  • When the rice is nearly done, stir in the corn and grated cheese and add the final 2 tablespoons of butter. You want this to be a bit soupy, so add more stock. If you're out of stock, add water. Add salt to taste and serve. 

Nutrition

Calories: 634kcal | Carbohydrates: 98g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 793mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 522IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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21 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to try it (I went for the 5 stars right off the hop because I can already tell it will be wonderful!). Question for you: do you just put the corn kernels into the risotto without cooking them first? I’m going to cut them right off the cob I figure and am wondering if there’s enough liquid in the dish already to cook them suitably, or should I sautee them separately first (or cook the cob and then cut them off? ?)

  2. Just found your recipe and want to try it tomorrow. Is it possible to substitute something else for the wine?
    Thanks.

  3. Combo of the chants and corn here is really excellent – we enjoyed this. And it certainly made the time I spent wandering around in the woods worthwhile!

  4. Made this last night using last years chanterelles that had been dry sautéed and frozen. Also used sweet corn stock. It was amazing! Added a lot more salt but not sure if that’s my southern taste buds or to back me the sweet corn

  5. Excellent recipe, and very straightforward instructions. I made this a couple times this summer when the chanterelles were really popping in my part of the country, and I’m excited to make it again. Highly recommend.

  6. My son and I found this a little underwhelming. Didn’t really accentuate the flavor of the chanterelles that much, which is too bad. When I cook with them I really want to highlight them. I’d guess that dry frying them first and deglasing the pan in one of the steps might up this dimension a bit. Also, could have been a bit richer and creamier. A good recipe, we enjoyed it, but not a knockout.

  7. I’d like to make this with precooked chanterelles that we sautéed with garlic and butter, and then froze. Any recommendations?

  8. I noticed you didn’t dry saute the chanterelles like you do morels. Is there a reason for this? I’ve been dry sauteing mine (they loose a ton of water- so much so that I usually have to ladle some off) then adding in an oil or butter and tbh they end up limp and a bit slimy. When I’ve had a good chanterelle dish at restaurants, the mushrooms always have a nice firmness (though it seems like chanterelle buttons are most often used instead of full grown mushrooms). I have this same problem cooking hen of the woods. Wondering your thoughts. Thanks!

    1. Brian: I only dry saute mushrooms when they are very wet, soggy even. When they are nice, they don’t need it.

  9. Hank – Great recipe as always! My wife and I really enjoy the flavor combos in this. The fresh sweet corn really complements the earthy flavors of the dried chanterelles I had on hand. I’m excited to do this one again after I get some successfully foraged! I made it a little thicker than you recommended as I wanted it to stand up on the plate. Very nice all around!

  10. Timing is everything, I just gathered the last chanterelles of the season. While Iooking to explore a new use for the harvest I thought of you, found and tried the risotto recipe, Thank You! Love chanterelles but am new to risotto, I have no doubt this will be repeated often. Enjoying expanding my horizons with much credit to you.

  11. This recipe looks terrific and I really want to try it, but I don’t think they carry chantrelle mushrooms where I shop. Mostly they carry portobellos and white, maybe shiitake sometimes. Any suggestions for substitutions?