Wild garlic barley risotto with breast of guinea fowl, curly kale and beer-poached onions

Seek out seasonal wild garlic for the paste that flavours this barley ‘risotto’. Served with simply roasted guinea fowl and flavour-packed veg.


For the wild garlic barley risotto
  • 1.2 litres/2 pints 2fl oz chicken stock
  • 250g/9oz pearl barley
  • 400g/7oz wild garlic
  • 50g/1¾oz grated parmesan
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • salt, to taste
For the breast of guinea fowl
  • 2 crowns of guinea fowl
  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter
For the beer poached onions
  • 500ml/18fl oz dark ale
  • 3 small white onions, unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g/1oz butter
For the kale
  • 1 head kale
  • 25g/1oz unsalted butter

Preparation method

  1. Method for the risotto, put the chicken stock in a large pan and bring it to the boil. Add the barley, then cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain, then tip the barley into a medium-sized pan. Set aside to keep warm.

  2. Blanch the wild garlic in boiling water, refresh in cold water and place in a blender until smooth, then pass through a sieve.

  3. Just before serving stir the wild garlic paste, parmesan and lemon juice through the barley risotto adding salt to taste.

  4. For the breast of guinea fowl, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  5. Butter the skin of the bird and place in a roasting tin. Roast in the hot oven for 15-25 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven and rest the bird upside down, covered with foil, for around 25 minutes so that the juices relax back into the meat. Reserve any juices in the roasting tin.

  7. For the beer-poached onions put the ale in a frying pan, add the whole onions, cover and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes until the onions are tender. Leave to cool completely, then remove the skin and slice the onions into wedges and set aside.

  8. When cool, separate the layers of cooked onions and finish by frying in a hot pan, with a little oil and butter, until golden-brown.

  9. To cook the kale, heat a pan and add the butter. Once melted add the kale and cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted.

  10. To serve, place the wild garlic barley risotto in the centre of each of four serving plates. Carve the guinea fowl breasts from the crown and serve on top of the risotto, with the caramelised onions and kale alongside. Spoon over some of the reserved roasting juices.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

scroll to top