Baked Risotto with Chicken and Mushrooms

You know I love a shortcut. Cooking and presenting good *and* beautiful food is important to me. But it’s rare that I have lots of time to slowly work my way through a complex recipe on a normal night. So any shortcuts that allow me to still put beautiful healthy food on my family’s plates and I are instantly best friends.

Risotto is one of those dishes that you can get really wrong if you don’t get it right. Traditional risotto requires slow cooking with constant stirring, which also therefore requires really organized prep. I’ve seen all kinds of recipes that claim to get you a thick, creamy risotto without constant stirring, and I’ve tried a few, and most of them don’t deliver. But I’ve recently seen a few baked risotto recipes that looked promising, so I decided to give it a try myself. And you know what? It delivered! Traditionalists and trained chefs will raise their eyebrows and judge, but I promise you this is legit. Give it a shot and let me know if you agree. Here you go.

* 1 1/2C arborio rice
* 4C chicken broth
* 1 sweet onion, minced
* 1 pint mushrooms, quartered (I used both white button mushrooms and baby portobellas, 50/50)
* 2t minced garlic
* 1 cup hot water
* 3/4C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 4T butter
* 1t salt
* Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* Zest of 1 lemon
* Precooked rotisserie chicken from the store, broken down and cut into chunks
* Large handful fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F.

To a large, oven-safe pot, add the rice, broth, onion, mushrooms, and garlic. stir to combine.

Put the pan, uncovered, into the oven. Cook for about 35 to 40 minutes. After 20 minutes, if the rice has absorbed more than half the liquid, cover the pot.

Remove the pot from the oven and then add the hot water, Parmesan cheese, and butter. Stir to combine.

Season with salt and pepper, and then add the lemon zest and the chicken. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately.

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