One Pot Creamy Parmesan Garlic Risotto with Lemon Pepper Chicken

One Pot Creamy Parmesan Garlic Risotto with Lemon Pepper Chicken


1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 lb / 1 kg chicken thighs , skin on and bone in (5 pieces) (Note 1)
2 - 3 tbsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning (Note 2)

2 tbsp butter
4 garlic cloves , minced
1 onion , finely diced
1 1/2 cups risotto rice (arborio)
1/2 cup white wine , any (or stock or water)
4 cups chicken broth (stock)
1 cup milk (I use low fat)
1/2 tsp salt

Black pepper
Risotto Finishes
1 cup freshly grated parmesan (lightly packed)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 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.

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.

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