COOKING TIME: 25 - 30 minutes


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 200g/7oz/heaped 1 cup pearled spelt
  • 200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup dry white or red wine
  • 1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 70g/2½oz unsalted butter
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • a few thyme sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove, bruised
  • 200g/7oz wild mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • 4 roasted chicken breasts, bone in and skin on, shredded, or cooked chicken, shredded
  • 115g/4oz/scant ½ cup crème fraîche
  • 60g/2¼oz/ 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    fresh green salad or vegetables, to serve




Start by making the Speltotto base. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and fry for about 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the pearled spelt and gently sauté for 2 minutes, stirring constantly so the spelt is coated in the hot oil and doesn't stick to the pan. Add the wine and continue to stir.

Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Begin to add the chicken stock a little at a time, adding just enough to cover the pearled spelt, then waiting for it to absorb the liquid before adding more. Continue in this way for about 10 minutes until almost all the stock listed for the base has been absorbed.

Simmer for a few more minutes, if necessary, until the pearled spelt is tender.Meanwhile, melt 50g/1¾oz of the butter with a little olive oil in a saucepan with the thyme sprigs and garlic. Once the butter is foaming, remove the thyme sprigs and the garlic so that they don't burn, then add the wild mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook overa medium heat for 5 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and they caramelize slightly. Add the chicken and stir until heated through, then add the crème fraîche and stir until the mixture thickens a little, making sure the mixture does not boil.

Add the mushrooms and chicken to the speltotto with the Parmesan and remaining butter, stirring so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Serve hot, with a green salad or vegetables of your choice.

Extracted from Spelt by Roger Saul © Roger Saul 2015
Published by Nourish Books, London. 
Hardback £16.99
Commissioned photography by Lara Holmes & Neil White

Don't forget to get your spelt ingredients:

14th March 2019

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