Lemon Chicken and Asparagus Risotto
adapted from A Taste of Home Cooking
- 1-1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 4 to 5 cups low-sodium chicken stock (or water)
- 1/2 large sweet onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 bunch thin asparagus spears, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 scallions, minced
- Zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Lemon wedges for serving
Heat the stock over medium heat.
Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.
Add the other 1/2 tablespoon oil, then add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft, about 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir in the rice and saute until barely translucent, about 2 minutes. Pour in the white wine and stir until the rice absorbs it. Add 1/2 cup of stock, stirring frequently, until the rice absorbs the stock; repeat until all stock has been added and the rice is al dente. This process should take about 25 minutes. During the last addition of stock, add the asparagus to cook until tender.
Stir in the scallions, lemon zest, parmesan, basil and parsley. Taste and season with more salt or pepper, if needed. Add the tablespoon of butter along with the reserved chicken, and toss to melt the butter. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
During the last three Aprils (i.e., the last three good asparagus seasons), I have attempted to create a one-pot dish involving chicken, lemon, and asparagus with rice, but I couldn’t quite get a final dish to match up to exactly what was in my head. Then my friend Sarah posted this Lemon Chicken Risotto, and I realized – *smacks forehead* – that the answer was making an all-in-one risotto rather than a one-pot served over rice. It seems so obvious now because this is IT. This is what I’ve been aiming for all this time. Spring in a bowl and a recipe for keeps.