It’s springtime and asparagus is ready to harvest! I often eat asparagus simply roasted or grilled with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. It is absolutely delicious that way and simple to prepare. However, today I wanted to make something different, so I am baking it in risotto topped with crispy chicken thighs. This Roast Lemon Chicken and Asparagus Risotto is simple to prepare, makes a beautiful presentation, and contains all of the necessary food groups!
Making risotto usually means spending a massive amount of time standing over the stove and stirring. This recipe eliminates all of those steps and allows you to cook it in the oven instead. It won’t come out quite as creamy as the traditional kind, but the result is certainly worth the minimal effort. By cooking the chicken right in the same pot, you add some flavor and make it super simple. I purchase cage free, organic chicken so they are nice and plump. You may need 2 thighs per serving if you are buying smaller ones. The roasted lemon is a nice added touch to the dish and if you cut the slices thin, they are wonderful eaten rind and all with the meal. Yum, my mouth is already watering!
- 4 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2″ slices
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 meyer lemon, sliced thin
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or other oven proof skillet) and sear the chicken, skin-side down until golden crisp about 6 minutes. Flip and brown the other side for about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a plate, set aside.
- Drain off most of the chicken fat from the pan. Add the asparagus spears and toss to coat, cooking over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add the rice, season with salt & pepper and toast for a minute. Pour in the wine and simmer until the rice has absorbed most of it.
- Return the chicken to the pan, skin-side up, along with any accumulated juices. Layer the lemon slices in and around the pan along with the sprigs of thyme. Add chicken stock to cover the rice with most of the chicken submerged up to the skin.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the rice is tender and creamy. If the chicken is done and the liquid is not all absorbed, cover the pan and continue to cook for another few minutes, about 30 minutes total. Remove the thyme stems. To serve, remove the chicken and place 2 tablespoons butter on top of the rice in small pieces so it will melt in. Serve the risotto topped with grated Parmesan and a piece of chicken. Garnish with thyme.
(click here) for printable recipe