Lemony Spring Baked Risotto

Spring has sprung here in beautifully sunny Scotland, lovely weather for our final day of holiday here. The perfect spring day for a very spring inspired dish.

I have become somewhat of a savoury lemon fiend as of late, especially when combined with Parmesan. Lemon pasta, Lemon & Parmesan broccoli (by the bowl full) and I’ve been craving lemon risotto for a long time. I decided that is was time to fulfill that craving last week but to mix up that baked lemon risotto recipe, from a side dish into a main and throw in some chicken and spring vegetables. Oh man, it was good. I wish I could get the photo to convey how lemony the dish was, but short of dyeing it yellow, it just isn’t possible. It was so lemony and delicious and combined with the Parmesan, just wow. Even better is that it’s an oven risotto, so it doesn’t need constantly stirring.

Spring risotto

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • One large chicken breast, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Olive oil (~1 tbsp)
  • The zest and juice of one large or two small lemons
  • A pinch of chilli flakes
  • A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Frozen peas (~100 g)
  • A handful of asparagus stems, chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 140 g of (uncooked) arborio rice
  • 30 g of freshly grates Parmesan
  • 400 ml of chicken/vegetable stock
  • Salt & pepper, to season

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease a lidded oven proof dish (or use tin foil as a lid if you don’t have an oven dish with one).
  3. Place a frying pan on a medium – high heat with a little olive oil and fry the chopped onion and chicken until it begins to colour; no need for the chicken to be cooked through as it is going in the oven.
  4. Place the lemon zest & juice, chilli flakes, fresh thyme, peas, asparagus, rice and Parmesan into the oven dish and stir.
  5. Stir in the stock, onions and chicken, make sure it is all evenly distributed throughout the dish.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place the lid/foil on the dish and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Stir after 20 minutes. Have a little peek after 30 minutes to see if it needs a little top up of water. Some days it will and some days it won’t, it’s a mystery.
  8. Once cooked, serve (topped with a little more Parmesan if you like) and enjoy the delicious lemony goodness.
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