Almost Hands-Free Lemon Risotto with Chicken, Fennel, and Green Olives
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WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
For a simplified risotto recipe, we swapped our saucepan for a thick, heavy bottomed Dutch oven that trapped and distributed heat evenly and ensured our risotto cooked evenly. We seared bone-in chicken breasts and then poached them in the b...
GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
This recipe does not employ the traditional risotto method; the rice is mainly stirred for 3 minutes toward the end of cooking instead of constantly throughout. This more hands-off method does require precise timing, so we strongly recommend using a timer. The consistency of risotto is largely a matter of personal taste; if you prefer a looser texture, add extra broth in step 4.
Bring broth and water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain gentle simmer.
Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip chicken and cook second side until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to saucepan of simmering broth and cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to large plate.
Add 2 tablespoons butter to now empty Dutch oven set over medium heat. When butter has melted, add onion, fennel bulb, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around edges, about 3 minutes.
Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir 5 cups warm broth into rice; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and rice is just al dente, 16 to 18 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.
Add ¾ cup warm broth to risotto and stir gently and constantly until risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and olives. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove and discard skin and bones from chicken, and shred meat into bite-size pieces. Gently stir shredded chicken, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest, fennel fronds, and chives into risotto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add up to ½ cup additional broth to loosen texture of risotto.