There’s nothing like a deliciously creamy risotto. For me it is pure comfort food that stretches across the seasons because it can be made with so many seasonal ingredients and served alongside varied produce. In summer I like to add asparagus and serve it with fresh greens scattered with toasted nuts and shaved Parmesan. In Autumn, I like to add bacon to the risotto and serve it with a salad filled with sliced pear. And more recently, over the past Winter, I've often made this risotto the day or two after enjoying a roast chicken as I could use the leftover bones to make stock to then use in the below recipe and the leftover meat was then added to the risotto to provide the protein. Nothing wasted which I love!
This recipe is perfect for anyone who adores risotto but perhaps doesn’t have the time and space to stand lovingly stirring the risotto and adding the stock, ladle by ladle into the pan. With two young children to watch and care for, including a little man who is now walking and a sister that likes to think he’s older than he is, I need eyes in the back of my head so throwing everything in an oven-proof dish and popping it in the oven to cook is absolutely lovely! The trick to this recipe is a good heavy pan with the tight-fitting lid that transfers from the element to the oven. Less dishes too!
I hope you enjoy this risotto as much as my family does x
Oven-Baked Risotto – serves ~4
1-2 cups of leftover roasted chicken meat or leftover sliced sausages or Chorizo sausage or 4-6 rashers of raw bacon, diced
1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
1 Tbspn olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large brown onion, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups Arborio rice
¾ cup dry white wine (or use extra stock)
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted in a bowl of recently boiled water, then drained
Handful fresh herbs, chopped (try parsley, basil)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbspn butter, extra
You can add things such as semi-dried tomatoes when you add everything to the dish at step 4. Semi-dried tomatoes go really well with Chorizo which you would slice and cook in the pan with the onion and garlic as explained below.
For extra greens, swirl with a big dollop of pesto and top the finished risotto with rocket and drizzle over extra olive oil and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180'C and add your stock to a medium sized saucepan to warm up.
Heat an oven-proof dish with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter to the pan and cook the onion and garlic with salt and pepper until soft. If using leftover cooked chicken or sausages keep aside for step 4. If using Chorizo or bacon, add the Chorizo or bacon to the pan with the onion and garlic to cook.
Once the onion and garlic are soft (and meat is browned), add the rice to the pan, stirring to coat in the onion mixture. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and then simmer uncovered for around one minute.
Add your stock, any leftover cooked meat, stir and then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven.
Cook for around 25-30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. Stir the risotto once during cooking.
Remove from the oven and add the drained peas, fresh herbs, Parmesan and extra butter. Stir and taste. Season with flaky sea salt and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper.