When you spend your life working in a restaurant and blogging about what you cook at home, it’s easy to overcomplicate food. Every dinner has to be the best. 30 minute meals? Save ‘em for Rachael Ray. 1 skillet suppers? I’m not about to sacrifice flavor for a couple fewer dishes at the end of the night. Chicken and rice for dinner? Sounds boring, like what I give my dog when he’s sick.
But easy can be delicious and simple flavors can be supremely satisfying. And if both of those are true, washing just 1 pan after dinner is the icing on the cake.
Thankfully, that’s the case with this recipe. It’s something I tried it on a whim. I had a bit of a tummy ache and wanted something soothing. Plus, I was feeling a tad lazy so I decided to just toss everything in my cast-iron skillet, throw it in the oven, and call it a day. To my surprise, it was way good. The rice turned into risotto, without me standing by its side, stirring. The chicken was moist and tender, with crispy skin. Score! Lemons, scallions, and garlic livened things up and a dusting of Parmesan sealed the deal; this was good enough to make again a couple of days later to share with you.
Grab your skillet, preheat the oven, and let’s get ready to cook. Chop a couple of cloves of garlic, trim the tops and bottoms from a bunch of scallions, and slice a lemon. Pat the chicken dry and season it up.
Sear the chicken, skin-side down, until it is golden and crispy. Flip and brown the other side of the meat. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside while we build the risotto.
Sauté sliced garlic and scallions. Add Arborio rice and toast for a minute. Splash in a glass of white wine and let the rice soak it up. Nestle the chicken back into the pan, skin-side up. Cover the rice with hot chicken stock, tuck in lemon slices and few sprigs of thyme or rosemary, and pop it in the oven. Your work is done.
Half an hour later, you’re looking at a tasty, low-stress dinner, and, for once, a sink that isn’t overflowing with dirty dishes. I think I could get used to this.
- 4 Chicken Thighs (bone-in, skin-on), excess skin and fat removed
- 2 cloves Garlic, sliced
- 2 bunches (about 16) Scallions, root end trimmed off, dark green tops removed
- 1 c. Arborio Rice
- 1 c. Dry White Wine
- 1 small Thin-Skinned Lemon, thinly sliced
- about 2 c. Chicken Stock (homemade or low-sodium)
- Fresh Thyme or Rosemary
- Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat about a Tbsp. of olive oil in an iron-skillet or any oven-safe skillet and sear the chicken, skin-side down until golden and crisp, about 6 minutes. Flip and brown on the reverse side, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan, place on a plate, and set to the side.
- Drain off most of the chicken fat from the pan, leaving just a thin coating. Add the garlic and scallions and sauté until the garlic is golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rice, season, and toast for about 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. Tuck the slices of lemon around the chicken along with a few sprigs of thyme. Add chicken stock to cover the rice. Most of the chicken should be submerged, with the exception of the skin. Transfer to the oven and bake until the rice is tender and creamy and the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove the thyme stems. Grate a bit of Parmesan over the finished dish and serve.