Lemon Chicken Risotto.
I bring you… spring in a dish.
Sunshine in a dish, with chicken. Uh, yes, OF COURSE I’d like to eat a bowl of sunshine. Let’s do it!
My all-time favorite risotto (at least at this very moment, at 11:16 PM on a Tuesday night in March) is this red wine goat cheese risotto. I remember the exact day I shot the photos, nearly every time I’ve made the recipe, how it tasted the first time I tried it. It’s one of those recipes that really solidified risotto as a simple one-pot, weeknight friendly meal in my kitchen, regardless of the arm workout or how long someone says I need to stand over the stove. Hush hush.
It’s easy! AND. I can add lots of cheese and hide it under all the rice. No one knows about all of that secret cheese.
Almost every single time I make risotto, it acts as a side dish. It’s often vegetarian for me except for the occasional time when I trip and drop a handful of super crunchy bacon into the pot.
Not often though. Nooooo.
So, tell me about Easter brunch! Do you do Easter brunch? Do you serve one? Host one? Attend one? I’m fairly late to the game, but to be real that honestly translates to the fact that I can never make up my mind and don’t like to plan too far in advance. Because what if I want something else?
What if I feel like chocolate croissants instead of cinnamon rolls? It’s that type of thing. Hence why I’m still working on my Easter brunch menu.
This is a contender though! For so many reasons: tastes like spring, can be made in one pot, acts as a full meal, thus leaving me room to serve lots of empty extras like sticky buns and bacon wrapped figs and chocolate peanut butter filled eggs.
I didn’t solely make it for that purpose, since it also makes a fantastic mid-week meal. It sort of feels fancy, but it’s not. It’s not unhealthy, which works for Monday through Thursday (I know you feel me). It’s comfort food, but not super heavy comfort food. It’s the kind that helps carry you into warmer weather, when the mornings are 33 degrees and then you’re sweating in the sun come two o-clock.
And also! Here’s a secret. It even tastes good COLD. Oooh. Write that down.
Lemon Chicken Risotto
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 to 5 cups low-sodium chicken stock, warmed
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 4 scallions, sliced into 1-inch long pieces
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil, plus extra for topping
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, plus extra for topping
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- lemon wedges for serving
Pat the chicken completely dry with paper towels. Season with the salt, garlic powder and lemon pepper. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and plate it on a cutting board. Once cool, slice into pieces.
With the saucepan still hot, add the butter. Add the rice and stirring often, toast the rice until it's somewhat translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the white wine, constantly stirring or at least stirring every minute or so, until the rice absorbs the wine. Once the wine is absorbed, add in 1 1/2 cups of the stock, stirring until the rice absorbs the liquid like it did with the wine. Repeat this 2 to 3 more times, until all stock has been added and the rice is al dente. You want it to appear "hydrated" - and want there to be some liquid left when serving. This process should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in the scallions, lemon zest, parmesan, basil and parsley. Taste and season the rice additionally, more salt or pepper if needed. This will differ on the salt level in your stock, so don't be afraid to add more. Stir in the sliced chicken. Serve immedaitely with extra chopped herbs on top and lemon wedges on the side.
Take the biggest bite!