Two dishes made in one pot! Creamy, dreamy risotto with yummy garlic parmesan flavours topped with crispy roast chicken. Cooking the chicken on top of the rice is like making rice with triple strength stock!
1. For one pot dishes like this, I like to use bone in skin on chicken because it is juicier (i.e. more flavour cooks into the rice) and I like crispy skin. It would work well with drumsticks too. You can make this with skinless, boneless thigh fillets but you won't get the crispy skin. Breast fillets will work too, but obviously not as juicy because it has a much lower fat content.
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. Use 2 tbsp if it's well seasoned / salty (taste it) or 3 tbsp if it is less salty and more lemon + pepper. I know 2 - 3 tbsp sounds like a lot but some of it comes off while cooking.
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.
5. 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.