Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Balsamic Chicken & Oven Baked Risotto

Merry Christmas to all of you!  This week between the holidays is a little weird - Claremont is empty and I'm wondering where everyone went.  Big sister had preschool today and there were only 5 kids there in the whole preschool.  Maybe everyone is vacationing somewhere tropical?  I might normally be jealous of that idea, but right now I'm happy to be home (not having to go on an airplane anywhere) and enjoying some time with family.  We're hosting family dinner tonight and headed back to my mom's on Thursday night - fun!

So, did you know that you can make risotto in the oven?  It actually turned out awesome with a lot less hands on time.  I'll be making it again soon!  I only made a very basic version with parmesan cheese but I bet a lot of risotto flavors / variations would work with this technique.  I made it to go with a favorite chicken recipe that's never made it on the blog so both recipes are below.  Usually I do the pan sauce for the chicken like the recipe below, but this time, I skipped it and just sliced and served the chicken over the risotto.  I put a little caprese salad garnish on top . . . would have been better on the side because the chicken and risotto made it warm and it wasn't great that way.

Balsamic Roasted Chicken (serves 4)
from Giada de Laurentis

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or pieces)
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend. Combine the vinaigrette and chicken pieces in a large resealable plastic bag; seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate, turning the chicken pieces occasionally, for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove chicken from the bag and arrange the chicken pieces in a large greased baking dish (or Dutch oven). Roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30-40 minutes. If your chicken browns too quickly, cover it with foil for the remaining cooking time. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. 
At this point, if you're using a Dutch oven that can go on the stove, place it on a burner over medium-low heat. Whisk the chicken broth into the pan drippings, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon and mixing them into the broth and pan drippings. Let it come to a boil and reduce a bit.  Drizzle the pan drippings over the chicken. Sprinkle the lemon zest and parsley over the chicken, and serve.
Alternatively, you can dump the drippings and any leftover marinade into a saucepan with the broth and make the pan sauce that way.  I've also eaten the chicken without making a pan sauce at all (skipping the broth part altogether).
Oven baked Risotto (serves 4-6)
1 1/2 c. arborio rice
4 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 c. finely grated parmesan cheese
2 T butter, cut into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour rice and broth into a large baking dish (or Dutch oven) and stir to combine.  Cover and place in the oven for 45 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente.

With a wooden spoon or spatula, beat in the parmesan, butter, salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.


  1. This looks great--and since I got a Giada cookbook for Christmas, can't wait to try out this and others!

  2. I'm going to be honest with you. I'm sick of chicken. I feel like all I eat is chicken. I resent it, but have no one to blame but myself.

  3. I made this the other night and we enjoyed it. Do you make it in a Dutch oven? Mine isn't large enough for the amount of chicken I made (3, but they were huge so I sliced them in half lengthwise through the middle). I couldn't figure out what else you'd use that you could then put on a stovetop. I also goofed and poured in the marinade, too, so I really couldn't do the chicken broth thing anyway.
    What's your method?
    Happy New Year!

  4. Happy New year! I've done it two ways . . . poured all the marinade in the pan and put the whole thing in the oven (and then just served it - not worried about the pan sauce). Or, I've made the sauce with the drippings and the broth. I have a large, deep oven proof skillet so I use that and then put it right on the stove. You can also make it in a baking dish (9x13) and then scrape what's in the pan into a sauce pan and add the broth to that. I should change the directions above a little bit now that I think about it . . . hope you're doing well!

  5. So pretty! Did Chef Diana cook this, or you? Looks so professional and yummy!

  6. Thanks Katie! It was actually me this time :)

  7. Made this last night....AMAZING. Why would you ever make risotto the laborious way ever again??? I was shocked at how well it worked. This meal reminded me of the chicken and rice meal that mom use to make.....you know the one where you use an onion dip packet or something?