Lemon Chicken Risotto

I'm a big fan of risotto. Not just eating it, but making it. This is my 3rd or 4th attempt at risotto, and my first attempt at this particular recipe. I think my second attempt it was a little undercooked, but all other times it has turned out quite well.


I always see on television chefs talking about how difficult risotto is to prepare, in particular a couple of the chefs on Hell's Kitchen seemed to really struggle with it. Honestly, I don't understand what the hype is in difficulty, and that may be a total NOOB statement. I'm certainly no risotto guru. Maybe my success with it is just dumb luck?

Regardless of my qualifications I will offer this advice: keep the heat up even though it seems like you're just cooking off the broth (you're not), and taste before adding more broth to see where you are.

Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer.

In the meantime, oil in a pan, salt, chicken...cook....remove from pan, but keep the heat on.

Add the artichoke hearts to the pan, brown 'em up and remove them to a bowl.

Add oil to the pan and begin sauteing onions and garlic - now we're in business!

Add the Arborio rice and cook, stirring, until the outer shell of the rice turns translucent.

Almost there - some of the rice will turn opaque, some will brown depending on how close and how long it stays directly on the heat, most of it will turn translucent.

Add 1 cup of the broth. Stir until it's absorbed. As soon as the liquid is absorbed, add another 1/2 cup of broth until it is also absorbed. Rinse and repeat until the rice is tender (taste before adding more broth). I find it's imperative to keep the heat up at this stage.

This is the finished rice. There's still a bit of liquid that will cook off, but the rice is tender all the way through.

The chicken should be cool enough now to shred or chop into bite sized pieces, whichever you prefer.

Add the chicken, artichoke, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the rice. Stir it in to incorporate.

Add parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. (I used some leftover feta I had in the fridge, Parmesan is expensive lately)

And there we have it.

I have to admit, when I served this I thought it would be merely okay, that it just kind of looked like a plate of yellow blah. I was surprised with the spectrum of flavors this dish brought. The chicken was tender and tangy with the lemon zest, and the feta cheese added an additional zing to the lemon while balancing the tang. The rice and chicken along with the parsley kept the dish earthy all complemented well with the rich texture of the risotto.

About four bites into dinner Jen and I looked at each other and said, "Wow! This is really good!"

Recipe:
3 tsp oil
3/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1 9 oz pkg frozen artichokes (I used canned and it turned out fine, just rinse the brine off and drain well)
5 C chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic, minced
1 C Arborio rice
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 T lemon juice
1/4 C chopped parsley
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions:
Heat 1 tsp oil in skillet over medium high. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp salt and cook until browned (no longer pink)/ Transfer to a cutting board, cool, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Return skillet to medium high heat. Add artichoke hearts and cook, stirring, until brown. Transfer to a bowl.

Bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and keep at a simmer. Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in medium saucepan (I used my dutch oven for more surface area) over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until the outer shell turns translucent.

Add 1 cup of the hot broth and stir until it is absorbed. Continue to add broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring until it is absorbed. Repeat until rice is just tender then add the reserved chicken, artichokes, the lemon zest, and the lemon juice with the final 1/2 cup of broth.

Stir in parsley, cheese, pepper, and remaining 1/4 tsp of salt. Serve.

9 comments:

  1. Oh I love lemony things, this sounds great!

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  2. I think that's so funny! Risotto always seems to be the downfall of the chefs on Hell's Kitchen! And it's not all that difficult. I could eat it every day of the week! Yours looks yummy! : )

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  3. Thanks Anne!

    I just subscribed to your blog, and I think it's going to get me in trouble in the future *drool*

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  4. This is ABSOLUTELY stunning! I love lemon and chicken together (as long as it's not lemon pepper - blech). GREAT step-by-step photos!

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  5. Oh, you made this fabulous risotto into a meal!!! It sounds amazing~

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  6. The only thing is needed was something crunchy :)

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  7. That looks amazing...I am a big fan of risotto. I like the flavors you have going on here :-)

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  8. I love the lemon artichoke flavor combo with the chicken and risotto here. I have made a similar dish with pasta, but I will have to try your delicious risotto. I have never had a problem making risotto either.

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