Despite being one of the most regularly ordered restaurant dishes out there, home cooks often shy away from making risotto at home due to both its labour-intensive requirements and for fear of not being able to replicate the restaurant-quality finish they’ve come to love about the classic dish.
Thankfully, in the Conveniently Delicious cookbook, chef Devin Connell has devised a no-fail recipe that utilizes a less time-consuming and more forgiving method to produce a risotto that even a trained chef would be proud to serve.
"I promise you that risotto will be something you’ll start making much more once you learn about this cooking process. Baking it, instead of constantly stirring, cooks it perfectly and with zero risk of carpal tunnel syndrome," Connel explains. "Everything—the chicken, the rice and the veggies—cooks in one pot, making this a weeknight-dinner dream dish. I like using dark meat (thighs and legs) as it’s more forgiving when it comes to cooking time, and, let’s face it, more flavorful."
One-pot baked risotto with chicken
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Season the chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and smoked paprika. In a large heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the chicken skin side down. Allow to brown without moving for 5–6 minutes, or until the chicken comes away from the pan easily and is a medium golden brown. Flip the chicken over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the pot with tongs and set aside on a large plate.
Adjust the heat to medium and sauté the onions and garlic in the chicken fat until translucent, 3–4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the rice to the pan and coat evenly with the mixture, cooking for 1 minute to toast the rice slightly. Deglaze with the wine, scraping up the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Add the chicken stock and season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and more pepper. Add the cubed squash to the pan along with the chicken, skin side up. Bring to a boil, cover with the lid and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven and scatter the spinach overtop. Place the lid back on and allow it to sit for 5 minutes to wilt. Uncover and season to taste with more salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Serves 4