Creamy lemon risotto with crispy pan roasted rosemary chicken is an easy, delicious family recipe. Perfect for anything from weeknight meals to date nights in.
Risotto is one of my all-time favorite dishes and it’s really easy to see why. The creamy, luscious rice is always a pleasure to eat. And when it is flavored with bright lemon, creamy mascarpone and lots of Parmesan and served with crispy pan-roasted rosemary chicken, how can you not fall in love? And if cooking risotto from scratch intimidates you, don’t worry. I have you covered!
Table of Contents
Creamy risotto is so easy to make. It requires a handful of ingredients and a little patience and that’s it. Firstly, you need to use a short-grain rice variety for risotto. Arborio is the most common but Carnaroli works just as well. There are other varieties but these two are the most well-known and most often used. The mascarpone adds a luscious finish but is completely optional and can be replaced with cream or left out. Chicken breasts can be substituted with bone-in chicken thighs.
- Chicken breasts.
- Olive oil.
- Salt and pepper.
- Fresh lemon.
- Arborio rice.
- White wine.
- Chicken stock.
- Mascarpone. (Optional)
How to make risotto
- Start by sautéing onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil (you can add butter too) until soft and translucent. Add short-grain risotto rice and stir to coat in the olive oil. Add wine and allow to reduce before slowly adding chicken stock, one ladle at a time, and stirring to incorporate. Do this over medium-low heat as you want the rice to slowly absorb the stock while simultaneously releasing their starch, creating creaminess.
- When the rice is cooked to your preference (you want the rice to be cooked through but firm, not mushy), traditionally butter is added but to amp up the creaminess I like to add a spoonful of Mascarpone or simply a third of a cup of heavy/whipping cream. Add grated Parmesan and season to taste then serve. The risotto should be super creamy and unable to keep a shape, which is why it is most often served in a bowl.
Can you make risotto without wine?
Yes you can. The alcohol does cook off while making risotto but if you prefer to not use wine, simply add more stock and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Can you overcook risotto?
Yes, you can. Risotto needs to be super creamy but the rice grains need to be able to keep their shape and not be broken. This will result in a grainy, floury texture. If your risotto is overcooked, don’t despair. You can use it to make fried arancini which are the most delicious appetizer recipe.
Is risotto gluten free?
Risotto rice contains rice gluten, which is not the same as gluten that causes intolerance. Rice gluten is what gives risotto its creaminess. If you are gluten intolerant, make sure the risotto rice you buy is gluten free as many factories process and package rice along with gluten-containing grains and wheat, causing cross-contamination.
More risotto recipes
- Pork fillet with mushroom risotto
- Roasted pumpkin risotto with haloumi pops
- Cauliflower risotto with truffle oil
- Black truffle and mushroom risotto
Lemon risotto with pan-roasted chicken
For the pan-roasted chicken
- 4 chicken breasts skin-on (bone-in breasts will be juicier and more flavorful after roasting but you can roast boneless breasts as well if you prefer)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
For the lemon risotto
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- zest of 1-2 lemons (I like to use 2 lemons to make it very lemony, but use as much as you prefer)
- 500 g (approximately 2 cups) risotto rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 1½ liters (6 cups) chicken stock
- 1 tbsp Mascarpone
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped parsley, to serve
- Pre-heat the oven to 200º/390ºF.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and finely chopped rosemary on both sides.
- Add olive oil to an oven-safe pan and sear the chicken, skin-side down, over high heat until golden brown. Place the pan into the oven and allow to roast for 15-20 minutes (depending on size and if you are using bone-in chicken) or until the chicken breasts just cooked through. Remove and allow to rest.
- In the meantime, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large, deep pan and sauté the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for 30 seconds before adding the risotto rice.
- Allow the rice to toast for a minute, stirring to coat in the oil, then pour in the wine. Stir to combine and allow the rice to simmer until reduced.
- Reduce the heat and add the chicken stock, one ladle at a time, stirring to incorporate until the rice is creamy and cooked to your preference.
- Stir in the Mascarpone, butter, Parmesan and lemon juice then season to taste.
- Slice the chicken breasts and serve on the creamy lemon risotto.