I love a good risotto. Whilst they can have complex flavours, I still think of them as comfort food with their creaminess. But they do require quite a bit of work. They often take a bit of time to cook and unlike recipes that use the oven where you can wander off and do other things, you have to keep stirring to make sure the stock is absorbed well and the rice doesn’t stick and burn. Sometimes I am in the mood for some therapeutic stirring at the stove. It can be a good break from the chaos that is life to focus on stirring and cooking. But not always. Sometimes I want a meal that is soothing but not time consuming. It doesn’t have to cook quickly but has to let me deal with other things whilst it is doing its thing.
That is where this recipe for baked chicken and leek risotto comes in to its own. The recipe uses the heat of the oven to replace your stirring. I should say up front that other friends who have used this recipe have argued it doesn’t taste like risotto. To be fair, they are probably right. The rice gets a bit softer than it probably should and is possibly cheesier than a normal risotto.
But do I care about this? No! Because this is just a delicious dinner that is easy to make and now that I have a saucepan that I can use on the stove and in the oven, the recipe only needs one pan and you know how I love a one pan dish.
This is one of my favourite dinners, especially as winter is about to start here in Australia. Or at least it should be if the weather ever gets its act together.
I originally came across the recipe in Cooking for One. (Chunky Food). To make this for one, I use the following ingredients:
- 1 tbs butter (I use salted butter)
- 1 small leek thinly sliced, white part only
- 125g skinless and boneless chicken breast cut into small cubes (I normally cut them in to cubes of about 1.5 cms
- 110g Arborio rice
- 1 tbs of white wine
- 310ml chicken stock
- 1 tbs of grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp of thyme leaves plus extra to garnish (the amount depends on how committed I feel to taking the thyme of its stems – I have been known to skip this ingredient if I am in a hurry but the recipe is better with it)
- ½ tbs Grated parmesan to garnish
As I mentioned above, I am inherently lazy and so instead of having a separate ovenproof dish warming in the oven while I sauté on the stove, I use one pot for both the stove and the oven and I have found there is no difference to when I first started cooking this risotto using two separate pots.
I cook it in the oven for 20 minutes and if the stock isn’t fully absorbed, I pop it back in for another 5 minutes. The preparation time is about 10-15 minutes. I normally sort out the thyme and parmesan while the risotto is in the oven, which cuts back the time prepping before you cook. Total cook time is about 30 minutes and the meal has about 520 calories.
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