The new way of one pot cooking….making TWO dishes in one pot! Anyone for a creamy, dreamy risotto AND crispy roasted chicken? Making this baked risotto with chicken on top means you get extra flavour from the chicken dripping juices into the rice. This is easy and so delicious!
Before I get into this recipe, I just want to say a heartfelt thank you for all the lovely messages and words of encouragement I received about my Baked Wings Cookbook. It was a labour of love, one I enjoyed so much because sharing my favourite recipes is what makes me “click”.
I used to work in corporate finance. Suits and heels and 15 hour days, jetting around the world on the job. I took a huge risk, throwing it all away to pursue my passion for food.
The irony is, I work harder now than I did “in corporate”. But I’ve never been happier.
Sharing food I love and helping people cook fabulous food for their family and friends is what I was meant to do. I really feel like I’ve found my calling in life. And it’s because of you, all of you, who read my recipes, anecdotes about my life, share your tips, stories about your life, help other readers with suggestions, send me lovely messages and ask questions about my recipes.
It really brings me so much happiness. So thank you!
OK, back to dinner!! I’m raising the “one pot wonders” bar with this creamy, dreamy risotto topped with crispy roast chicken….look how creamy the risotto is!! (AND how beautifully golden and crispy the chicken is….!)
I’m pretty excited to be sharing this with you! I wasn’t sure if it was something you would like, but the One Pot Greek Chicken with Lemon Rice is fast becoming one of the most popular recipes on my blog. So I figured you might like this too.
This recipe uses the same technique. Sear chicken first to render out the fat and partially cook it. Then add the rice ingredients, get it started on the stove and finish it in the oven with the chicken plonked on top of the rice.
Cooking the rice with the chicken on top is like the rice has been cooking in triple strength chicken stock which means serious flavours. And you know how I’m all about big flavours. “Kapow” flavors, as my family describes it. Well actually, they spend more time mocking me for my lack of appreciation for subtle, delicate flavours. I really wish I knew how to do a hmph! emoticon with my tongue sticking out because it would have been perfect to insert right there.
So mature, aren’t I?! 😉
There is one major difference between the One Pot Greek Chicken with Lemon Rice and this recipe. It’s the rice. The rice in the One Pot Greek Chicken with Lemon Rice is fluffy and fresh with the lemon flavours. The rice in this recipe is creamy because it’s a risotto.
YES it’s possible to make a great risotto in the oven! Until a couple of years ago, I was quite cynical. Many recipes call for the risotto to be baked for close to 1 hour which is just so wrong. You end up with a pot of sludge, the rice so soft and mushy that it’s really unappealing.
But if you get the liquid to rice ratio right and make sure you don’t overcook it in the oven, it comes out fabulously! I won’t lie to you. You will not get the exact same result as you do from standing over the stove, stirring constantly for 25 minutes with homemade stock. That’s what it takes to make a perfect restaurant risotto, and I promise to share one very soon. (Along with my tip for how restaurants make risotto ahead….I was so amazed when I learnt how they do it!)
This is a midweek version. A risotto that takes 5 minutes of prep, then just pop it into the oven. The rice comes out slightly softer than making it the proper way because it’s not being stirred constantly. But it is a very small compromise for the convenience.
Also, I’ve been really exact with the liquid to rice ratio and baking time, to make sure you end up with a risotto that is creamy and rice that is tender, not mushy.
I’d love to know what you think if you give this a go! And any questions, just leave a comment below and I’ll reply promptly! – Nagi x
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 lb / 1kg chicken thighs, skin on and bone in (5 pieces) (Note 1)
- 3 tbsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning (Note 2)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1½ cups risotto rice (arborio)
- ½ cup white wine, any (or stock or water)
- 4 cups chicken broth (stock)
- 1 cup milk (I use low fat)
- ½ tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan (lightly packed)
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ to 1 cup milk (preferably warmed)
- Fresh thyme leaves, or finely chopped parsley, chives or oregano (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F (fan forced) / 200C/390F (conventional).
- Coat chicken with Lemon Pepper Seasoning, using most of it on the skin.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large oven proof fry pan (Note 3).
- Place the chicken in the pan skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes then turn the heat up to medium high and cook for a further 2 minutes or until browned. Turn and cook for 3 minutes. (Note 4)
- Remove chicken onto a plate. Discard excess oil in the pan and wipe the pan with a paper towel.
- Return the pan to the stove, still on medium high.
- Melt butter in the pan. Add garlic and onion and cook for 2 minutes or until onion is translucent.
- Add rice and stir until the grains turn from white to translucent. Add wine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the wine is mostly evaporated.
- Add chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer on the stove. Give it a quick stir then place the chicken on top of the rice (pour juices on the plate in too). Then place a lid (or foil) on the pan and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the rice is firm but just cooked (not mushy!) and the chicken is crispy.
- Remove the chicken from the rice. Stir through Risotto Finishes, using the milk to get the risotto to a creamy consistency.
- Return chicken on top. Serve immediately, with fresh thyme leaves and extra parmesan, if desired.
2. Lemon Pepper seasoning is a fabulous spice mix you can get at any major grocery store. It's got zesty lemon and black pepper flavours, but also other seasonings (including salt) so you don't need to add anything else. It doesn't cost any more than other dried herbs and spices - around $1.50 for a packet here in Sydney.
You can substitute with any seasonings you have on hand, or make your own. Just make sure to remember to add salt and pepper - I don't because Lemon Pepper already has it.
3. Use a large fry pan, preferably with a lid, or a heavy based pot (dutch oven works great). If you don't have a lid, just cover the pan with foil or use the lid of a larger pot/pan.
4. The chicken is cooked on a lower heat first to render out (melt) the fat and to partially cook the chicken. Risotto cooks in around 25 to 35 minutes so you need to ensure the chicken is cooked enough on the stove so it is just finished in the oven.
If you are using thigh fillets, reduce the cooking time to 2 minutes on each side (4 minutes in total on the stove). For drumsticks, reduce the cooking time to 6 minutes in total on the stove.
The nutrition analysis below takes into account the fat that is rendered (melted) out of the chicken. I measured it and the amount of fat removed is amazing – around 2 1/2 oz / 75 ml. This assumes all the risotto is consumed between 5 servings, but I usually have left over risotto.