Risotto with Cockerel Ragu by David Dellai & Alex Tintori




45 mins


8 hours

Sometimes you want the full flavour and beautiful texture of cockerel meat. Sometimes you just need the strong, full-flavoured, delicious goodness of a cockerel bone to give your stock some oomph.




  • 100 g Parmigiano Reggiano, chopped into 1cm piece
  • 1g soy lecithin

Brown Chicken Stock

  • 2kg Cockerel carcass
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Aurum Poultry Co. Cockerel SHOP NOW

Roast Cockerel Chicken

  • 1 Aurum Poultry Co. Cockerel SHOP NOW
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 orange
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped


  • 480g carnaroli rice
  • 1.6 l chicken stock
  • 60ml white wine
  • 90ml Laphroigh or other peaty whiskies
  • 25g salted butter
  • 25g parmesan, grated


Step 1: Prepare Parmesan Foam Base

  • Place Parmigiano pieces in a high-density plastic bag with 100ml of water.
  • Seal the bag and place it in a water bath at 80°C for 4 hours (Alternatively, simmer in a small covered saucepan over very low heat for 1 hour).
  • Cool and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Step 2: Make Chicken Stock

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
  • Rinse the cockerel carcasses under cold running water.
  • Roast carcasses on a large tray with onions, carrots, celery, and garlic for 1 hour or until carcasses are golden.
  • Transfer the carcasses and roasted veg into a large stock pot with bay leaf, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 6 hours, skimming occasionally to remove floating scum.
  • Strain and reserve the liquid. Discard the solids. You should have around 2 litres.

Step 3: Roast Cockerel Chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/175°C fan.
  • Rub the cockerel with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the thyme and orange segments inside the cockerel.
  • Place on a large roasting tray and roast for 40 minutes. 
  • Set aside and cover.

Step 4: Make Chicken Glaze

  • Cut roasted cockerel head, feet, and different parts into pieces.
  • Place in a large saucepan with 2 litres of brown chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for several hours or until it has reduced to around a cup of a luscious, golden, sticky glaze.

Step 5: Prepare Chicken Ragu

  • Remove the meat from the roast cockerel and dice it into 1cm pieces.
  • In a heavy-based pan, heat a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the carrot for five minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Add the onion and cook for a further five minutes, stirring regularly, or until translucent.
  • Add the celery and cook for a further few minutes. 
  • Add the chicken and cook for a few minutes. 
  • Add most of the sticky chicken glaze, reserving some for plating up. 
  • Stir, remove from heat and set aside. Keep it warm.

Step 6: Parmesan Foam

  • Pour parmesan stock into a bowl and discard the parmesan.
  • Add the lecithin, mix well, and set aside.

Step 7: Make Risotto

  • In one pan, heat the 1.6 litres of chicken stock over medium heat and keep it simmering.
  • Add rice to another medium-large heavy-based pan. Dry toast the rice over a medium heat. 
  • Deglaze with wine and a ladle of hot stock.
  • Continue adding the stock, ladle by ladle, stirring for 16-18 minutes until the rice is al dente.
  • Pour in whisky, stir, wait 15 seconds then remove from the heat. Mount risotto with butter and parmesan. Cover and let it sit.

Step 8: Foam Parmesan Stock

  • Use a stick blender to foam up the parmesan stock quickly.

Step 9: Serve

  • Stir the risotto, and check the seasoning.
  • Serve in 6 warmed bowls with chicken ragu, a little glaze, and a generous dollop of parmesan foam.
  • Finish with seasonal flowers and leaves for garnish.

Enjoy your exquisite Risotto with Cockerel Ragu!