A no-stir, oven-baked chicken risotto

Serving size: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

4 chicken thighs and 4 chicken drumsticks, with bone, skin on
1 medium onion – peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery – roughly chopped
1 medium carrot – peeled and roughly chopped
a handful of button mushrooms – quartered
4 cloves of garlic
250g Arborio risotto rice
1 pint of good quality stock (you may need more)
1 glass of white wine (optional, but rather good, I think)
A cup of frozen peas
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Fresh herbs (I used rosemary and thyme but feel free to go with what’s in your garden)

Featured in:
November 2011

As these strangely warm autumnal days are finally replaced by the more regular cold, crisp, wintry evenings, there is nothing better than to come home to a warming and hearty meal. Something packed with flavour that fills your house with the most amazing aromas of cooking and tempts your tastebuds into submission. But it needs to be easy, right? There’s nothing worse than slogging it out at work only to come home to spend an hour slaving over a hot stove!

This no-stir, oven-baked chicken risotto is one of my classic ‘go-to’ dishes when I want all the pizazz without the bother; there’s very little to do other than chop a few vegetables and even that you can do with wild abandon – I’m not even asking you to peel the garlic!

The Arborio rice soaks up all those incredible chickeny juices until you’re left with a dish that is unctuous and moreish. Plus, with all the chicken thigh and drumsticks offers available on the high street, it works out really cheap too.

Pre-heat the oven to 170C (160C fan)

Place all the chopped vegetables (apart from the peas) and fresh herbs into a large oven-proof dish, lay the chicken onto the vegetables, skin side up, season, add the wine, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes sprinkle the rice into the dish, add half a pint of the stock and shimmy the whole lot around until you end up with the chicken joints on top again, this time with the skin side down.

Roast again for another 30 minutes. During this time you may have to top up the stock on occasion and give the dish another little shimmy after 15 minutes. The finished dish should be nice and moist so don’t be afraid to add more stock if it looks like its drying up.

After 20 minutes, turn the joints back over to let the skin turn golden.

Check the rice to see if it’s cooked; Arborio rice should be tender and creamy. Take it out of the oven, throw in the frozen peas and give it a final stir, then let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Eat and of course, enjoy!

To find our more about my obsession with chicken thighs, take a read of my blog: belleaukitchen.blogspot.com

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